Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Most of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems deal with love. She talks about how it is a necessity, and speaks of it in a bubbly tone. In “The Penitent” her last lines are “But if I can’t be sorry, why, I might as well be glad!”. One may describe this line as bold, especially coming from a woman. The word penitent is defined as “feeling or showing sorry for having done wrong”. However, it is an ironic title for what Millay goes on to say about her feelings toward “doing wrong”. She represents a carefree, passionate woman which is what made her so remarkable.
In the discussion with Mr. Searles on Tuesday night, it was clear that he admires Millay. We talked about her background and went over a timeline of her life. She was a very talented writer. She won some impressive awards including a Pulitzer Prize, and a Frost Medal. She grew up in Maine and her parents divorced when she was 12, which caused her dad to leave their family. In the discussion, we did not really dig into the connection between her background and its effect on her views. Millay was married to man, and they had an “open marriage”. Her views about freedom and love is expressed in her poetry as it makes sense with her logic of being in an open marriage. In her sonnet, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed” she elaborates on love’s importance. She emphasizes how love itself is what is significant and not who it is shared with. She is a firm believer in that love comes and goes. She says “I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me”. She does not care about who it was with, but she got that feeling of love, and that is what was important to her.

My ideas of love have formed from examples of love I have seen in my life. My parents got divorced so I did not see my parents in love. However, both of my parents showed so affection to me and my sisters. Love doesn’t have to be traditional, it is an ambiguous term. I have experienced how Edna St. Vincent Millay views love in which it is a feeling, and can come from multiple people and joys in life.

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