Millay, Edna St. Vincent

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In her lifetime Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was renowned for her traditional poetic and her bohemian living. She infused conventional forms with a fervent contemporary spirit. The publication in 1912 of the poem “Renascence” won her instant acclaim. Early in her career Millay wrote fiction under the pseudonym of Nancy Boyd; later she wrote several plays and an opera libretto. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and in the 1930s she published sonnets that have earned a lasting place as exemplars of the form. In later years she applied her art to the Allied war effort and other social causes. Edmund Wilson deemed Millay “a spokesman for the human spirit”; few writers have commanded so wide and enduring an audience. From 1923 to her death, Millay lived with her husband in Austerlitz, New York, at their farmhouse at Steepletop, now a National Historic Landmark.

Poems by Millay, Edna St. Vincent

 

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