EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY by Carolyn Daffron


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An adequate biography of one of the best-loved and critically acclaimed poets of her time; Daffron quotes another biographer: "". . .the lyrical intensity of personal revelation in her poetry is striking. . .Millay was responsible for destroying the restrictions upon women's expression and the prejudices against women's frankness""--well qualifying her for inclusion here in the ""American Women of Achievement"" series. Born in Maine in 1892, Millay spent much of her intense life in New York's Greenwich Village, her life-style exemplifying one of her best-known verses: ""My candle burns at both ends/It will not last the night;/But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends/It gives a lovely light!"" Like her contemporary Virginia Woolf, she was considered a beauty but was frail, febrile, subject to periods of depression, and lucky in the unswerving support of a loyal husband. Though Daffron's account is rarely more than a narrative of events, it is clear, fairly inclusive, and evenhanded. The critical reception of the poetry is summarized; the descriptions of the poetry itself are too abbreviated to give much of its flavor. More quotations would have been valuable. Most of the many photos are excellent--though some, included as reminders of the period, are ludicrously irrelevant (e.g., a full-page photo of the bombing of Pearl Harbor). Further reading; chronology; index.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1989
Page count: 111pp
Publisher: Chelsea House