Yet There isn't a Train I Wouldn't Take Edna St. Vincent Millay

Biography Information

Born on February 22, 1982, in Rockland, Maine. Known to family as “Vincent”, named after St. Vincent Hospital in New York City where her uncle received care. At the age of 8 her parents divorced and her mother raised her and her sisters. She studied piano & theater, and spoke 6 different languages. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was a feminist and incorporated most of that in her writing. She married a Dutch businessman. He bought her an island located off the coast of Maine. She died in 1950 at her home in Austerlitz, New York.

How Poet's Life Affected Poetry

She wants to travel, she always wants to be doing something new. And at the beginning of the poem you think that she doesn’t like the train and it is annoying her, but then you find out that she wants to travel and doesn’t want to be tied down. She had many different affairs in her lifetime, and rebelled against the expectations of women of her status, she was upper middle class and married well, and it looks like she liked to break the rules.

History During Modernist Time Period

The Modernist Time Period in English, lasted from shortly after the beginning of the twentieth century up until 1965. Many people started changing things and doing things differently. The first Great Shock was World War 1, many people were scared and didn’t know what to think was coming after this. There was a greater demand for literature during this period. After the first war ended many writers celebrated in their works of art. World war 11 affected the writings of many because they were writing about what they saw during the war, and how it changed them as a person.

Modernist Elements in this Poem

Loss and exile- She feels a sense of exile to her hometown, she wants to get out and see what the world has to offer.

Comparative Analysis

Travel- A girl that all she wants do is travel, she listens to the trains go by everyday and night in hope that one day she’ll end up on one no matter where it’s going.

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls- A traveler who fought time was on his way back to town, but he loses to nature at sea.

Common Themes in Poet's Work

Edna St. Vincent Millay liked themes relating to feminism (I, Being Born A Woman And Distressed) and wanting change (Travel). Millay writes about moving on to new things quickly (Sonnets 04: Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended).


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