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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 - 1950) was a lyrical poet. She rose to fame with her poem Renascence (http://www.bartleby.com/131/1) (1912), and on the strength of it was awarded a scholarship to Vassar College. After her graduation in 1917, she moved to New York City. In 1923 she married Eugen Jan Boissevain. They remained together until his death in 1949 from lung cancer. The marriage was an open one; among her lovers was the poet George Dillon, fourteen years her junior, for whom a number of her sonnets were written.

Her greatest popularity in America was attained in the 1920s and 1930s. Since then she has been largely ignored by both the public and academics. Her reputation was damaged by poetry she wrote in support of the Allied war effort during World War II. Merle Rubin noted "She seems to have caught more flak from the literary critics for supporting democracy than Ezra Pound did for championing fascism." She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923.

She was born in Camden, Maine, where a statue of her looks out over the harbor.

Her best known poem is still probably "First Fig" (1920): "My candle burns at both ends..."

External Links e-texts of some of Edna St. Vincent Millay's works:



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