Type: Definition Essays
Sample donated: Stephanie Hodges
Last updated: August 8, 2019
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 drinkNor 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 Millays life. Through “Love is not all”, Millay is basically analyzing the dark aspect of love. Millay reports that there are more things in life than falling in love. It’s probably easier to enjoy our life without embracing love. All the vital and essential needs we have in our lives don’t require love. Love is not something that would help us physically or mentally.
However, men accept to live a miserable life by falling in love anyway.She also says that love is the uman feeling that influences us the most and that has the most power upon us. Millay uses the word miet” several times and it’s in order to show the reader that even though we might hate love, it’s something we cannot live without. “Love is not all” is not an easy poem to understand. The major reason that makes it hard to get for some readers is because it is about love. What is love? Is it a human a French poet, singer and songwriter had an excellent definition of love.
He defined love as “something we cannot feel or touch; however we know when love touches us ecause we can feel it”.In this poem, Millay brings out the complexity of love. In the first part of the poem, from line one to line six, she writes about what love cannot do.
She talks about love as something we don’t really need, something useless in our lives. Then, in line 7, the use of the word miet”, brings in the most important part of the poem. This second part is about the influence and the power that love has upon us. In this part, Millay explains that even though love is not a source of happiness, we cannot live without it. The reader end up questioning him/herself; is love really indispensable?Edna St. Vincent Millay uses a romantic register and lexical field in order to show the romantic aspect of love. This is obvious in “Love is not all: it is nor meat nor drink” (1).
Love poems are mostly about two lovers but “Love is not all” is very different from other love poems, it’s not direct. Millay also uses imagery in order to convey messages, ideas and thoughts, which helps the reader better understand the poem. “”Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink” (3); “And rise and sink and rise and ink again;” (4), these two lines are a perfect illustration of her picturesque language.
It brings to the reader’s mind an image ofa man fighting to stay alive in the sea and he keeps seeing a paddle but cannot reach it. Also, “Love can no fill the thickened lung with breath” (5) and “Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;” (6), these lines show that love is truly not able to fulfill the essential needs in our lives. Through this poem, Edna St. Vincent Millay is describing a certain image of love. She talks about love as if it was a blessing or a curse.
She is saying that love is the eeling that has the most power upon us but we don’t really need it in our lives.The most important part of the poem is the last two lines “Or trade the memory of this night for food” (13) and “It well may be. I do not think I would. ” (14), where the author shows that even though love can end up hurting someone very badly, we’d still never trade it for something else which really connects to the overall topic of the anthology. Work Cited Earnshaw, Doris. “Savage Beauty (Book).
” World Literature Today 76. 2 (2002): 162. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Oct.