@Poetess, Facts and Life
Edna St. Vincent Millay born at
Being a bisexual, she developed several relationships with women like Edith Wynne Matthison, an actress in silent films. At that time, she was attending school.
In later period of her life, she had close relationships with writers like Witter Bynner, Arthur Davison Ficke and Susan Glaspell. Author Floyd Dell and Critic Edmund Wilson proposed marriage to her. But she rejected both of them.
While studying at Vassar College, she met Eugen Jan Boissevain whom she married in 1923. Boissevain was a feminist and besides taking care of domestic responsibilities, he also supported her career. They had no children.
Edna was born in Rockland, Maine, to Henry Tollman Millay, a schoolteacher, and Cora Lounella, a nurse. She had two siblings, both sisters, named Norma and Kathleen.
After her parents’ divorce in 1904, she started living with her mother and two sisters,
While attending Camden High School, she used to write for the school’s literary magazine ‘The Megunticook’. At 14, she bagged the St. Nicholas Gold Badge for poetry.
By the time she was 15, her poetry had been published in the popular children’s magazine ‘St. Nicholas, the Camden Herald’ and the renowned anthology ‘Current Literature’.
In 1912, she submitted her poem ‘Renascence’ in a poetry competition This praiseworthy poem secured fourth position in that contest. With the help of an education officer of Young Women’s Christian Association, she got a scholarship so that she can attend Vassar College.
After completing her education, she shifted to New York City where she lived in Greenwich Village, surviving on meagre money. Here she acted with the Provincetown Players.
While living in New York, she earned her livelihood by publishing several short stories and poems in ‘Ainslee’s’ magazine under the pseudonym Nancy Boyd. She also acted in socialist Floyd Dell’s play ‘The Angel Intrudes’.
In 1919, she wrote a one-act anti-war verse play ‘Aria da Capo’ which she directed for the Provincetown Players.
In 1920, she published ‘A Few Pigs From Thistles’. This controversial work of Edna deals with the issues of female sexuality and feminism. In the same year she started writing poems for ‘Vanity Fair’, a magazine.
From 1920 to 1923, she spent her time in Europe. There she used to send satirical sketches to ‘Vanity Fair’ under the pseudonym Nancy Boyd.
‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’ published in 1923 is one of her most famous works. The poem depicts a poor woman who cannot provide basic necessities to her little son. This poetry shows the mother weaving clothes for her son while playing her harp.
Published in 1939, her poetry ‘Huntsman, What Quarry?’ reflects her protest against the brutalities carried out by Fascist Spain, Nazi Germany and imperialistic Japan.