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American Poets Project #1: Edna St. Vincent Millay Selected Poemsby Edna St Vincent Millay
Synopses & Reviews
Praised by poets and critics ranging from A. E. Housman and Thomas Hardy to Edmund Wilson, Edna St. Vincent Millay's bold, exquisite poems take their place among the enduring verse of the twentieth century. Claiming a lyric tradition stretching back to Sappho and Catullus and making it very much her own, Millay won over her contemporaries — and readers ever since — with her passion, erotic candor, formal elegance, and often mischievous wit.
J. D. McClatchy's introduction and selection offer new and surprising insights into Millay's achievement. Included are her most beloved and justly admired poems, such as the wry bohemian anthem "Recuerdo" and the sonnet sequence Fatal Interview, the poetic record of a love affair that is presented in its entirety. McClatchy has also chosen works that extend our sense of Millay's range: translations, her play Aria da Capo, and excepts from her libretto The King's Henchman. "I have for the most part been guided by my taste for Millay at her tautest and truest," writes McClatchy. "There are precise and resonant images everywhere."
"There are some who delight and inform. It's so much better, you see, for me, when a writer like Edna St. Vincent Millay speaks so deeply about her concern for herself, and does not offer us any altruisms. Then when I look through her eyes at how she sees a black or an Asian my heart is lightened." Maya Angelou
"She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century." Richard Eberhart
"I know that Millay is a good poet because there are so many of her lines in my memory. She belonged to a generation which thought of poetry as song; when that notion revives, as it will, the great appeal of her work will be felt again." Richard Wilbur
"One of the only poets writing in English in our time who have attained anything like the stature of great literary figures." Edmund Wilson
A lively selection by J. D. McClatchy, the distinguished poet, critic, and editor, casts Millay's career in a new light. Here are familiar favorites alongside neglected gems: translations, a verse play, songs from her opera libretto The King's Henchman, and the complete sonnet sequence Fatal Interview.
About the Author
J. D. McClatchy, editor, has written several books of poems and essays. He is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and since 1991 has edited The Yale Review. He also edited The Library of America's Poems and Other Writings by Longfellow (2000).
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