Edna St. Vincent Millay was an amazing American poet. She received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923, the third ever women to receive this prize for poetry. She was known for her feminist activism. Millay is one of the most respected American poets in the 20th century during World War II.
Millay's life was incredibly influential on her works. Early in her life her father left leaving her mother forced to raise Millay and her younger sisters alone. Millay was always strongly encouraged to value literature and culture, therefore from a very young age Millay had big future dreams involving music, and poetry. Millay was an incredibly strong, independent women whose feminist views which were constantly prominent within her work.
The 1920's, also known as the Roaring Twenties. This is when Millay's works began to become famous and she would make history. The 20's is known for change. Society started to "modernize" and economic growth was occurring. These themes can be found influencing Millay's works. Millay was all about being independent and your own person. Her society most likely helped form her beliefs.
From new life to death, these are just a few of the themes that can be found in Millay's work that collaborate with many different poets. Obviously the same themes will be talked about within the millions of poets that are writing as much as they possibly can. A few of these that were particularly similar were Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, and John Keats. The reason that these poets are all so similar is because their themes constantly correlate with each other. For example, in each of their poems you can find the common theme of nature. Now not just nature can be found in them but also personified characteristics given to different things.
The railroad track is miles away, And the day is loud with voices speaking, Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day But I hear its whistle shrieking. All night there isn’t a train goes by, Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming, But I see its cinders red on the sky, And hear its engine steaming. My heart is warm with the friends I make, And better friends I’ll not be knowing; Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, No matter where it’s going.
I think Millay is using the trains to represent the desire of change and the opportunity that a train brings for change. The poem is flowing towards movement to something else, something better. The tone within this poem is constantly changing, beginning with a negative tone towards her situation, but closer to the end of the poem she seems excited with the future of her life.
Biography.com Editors. "Edna St. Vincent Millay Biography.com." The Biography.com website. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
"Edna St. Vincent Millay." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 15 Aug. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
"Edna St. Vincent Millay." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.