The Worlds of Edna St. Vincent Millay

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenna Lewis (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Carl Eby

Abstract: The poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay has been misinterpreted within the academic community. A closer focus on her less anthologized poems helps to reveal a common thread within many of her poems that clarifies her motivations as a writer. Millay’s reliance on imaginative powers allows her to set up different worlds that ironically seem more realistic than our own world, and in many poems she juxtaposes our own world with different types of imaginative worlds in order to interrogate injustices and search for truth. The following chapters will articulate different themes Millay tackles, and will show how Millay sets up different natural worlds, apocalyptic worlds, and worlds of the afterlife. At times, I will turn to critical anthologies to juxtapose Millay’s works with her contemporaries in order to prove that her poetic skills are overlooked. Furthermore, each theme will allow for a different theoretical approach, exemplifying the multiple layers of meaning that will no longer be limited to issues of gender. This broader field of theoretical critiques will make room for new possibilities of reception, providing a better chance for academia to gain a fuller understanding of thus far unexplored thematic and theoretical possibilities in Millay’s work.

Additional Information

Lewis, J. (2015). The Worlds of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Modern poetry or modernism, Nature, Apocalyptic poetry, The afterlife,

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