Photograph of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Photo: Arnold Genthe

For a long while, the case of Edna St. Vincent Millay has seemed a doleful one. In 1911 it was her fate to ignite a sensation with her first collection, Renascence; in 1923, to be the first woman poet to win a Pulitzer Prize; throughout the 1920s and 1930s, to enjoy more critical acclaim and popularity than poets ordinarily attain; but in later life to be dismissed as a moldy fig. She has very nearly gone the way of lesser poets who make the mistake of signing their work with three names. Her Collected Poems is no longer a fixture on the poetry shelf of every bookshop, and in the initial volume of the Library of America’s anthology of...


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