Edna St. Vincent Millay, who used to be mostly called “Vincent”, is an American poet of the twentieth century. She was born in Rockland on February 22, 1982. In 1904, Edna’s parents, who were already separated for three years, divorced. Edna Millay had two sisters, Norma, and Kathleen. After the divorce, with their mother, they kept moving from town to town living in poverty. Edna St. Vincent Millay really suffered from this divorce which influenced her writing style. Indeed, she usually writes about the dark aspect of love. Millay was openly bisexual, and she got married in 1923 to a self-proclaimed feminist, Eugen Boissevain. Millay always claimed that she and her husband remained married for twenty six year because the couple was “sexually open” throughout their marriage. Her husband had lung cancer. They did not divorce, their marriage ended with the death of Eugen Boissevian in 1949. Edna St. Vincent Millay had then to live alone which she probably could not support. Indeed, she died a year later after her husband’s death, in 1950. Love Is Not All
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Dark Aspect of Love
Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote “Love is not all” when she was thirty nine, in 1931. This poem is more of a mirror image of Edna Millay’s life. Through “Love is not all”, Millay is basically analyzing the dark aspect of love. Millay reports that there are more...
Cited: Earnshaw, Doris. "Savage Beauty (Book)." World Literature Today 76.2 (2002): 162. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
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