Edna Millay And The Roaring Twenties

Decent Essays

After Vassar, Millay moved into Greenwich Village and busied herself writing anything an editor would accept. Edna, whose friends called her Vincent, described the writers of Greenwich Village to be, “Very, very poor and very, very merry” ( It was around this time that Millay joined the Provincetown players, where she drank and partied her way into befriending several writers, one of whom, named Floyd Dell, asked for her hand. Millay, being openly bisexual and in the prime of her life, declined his offer despite his attempts at persuasion. In 1920, she wrote several poems which enthralled the up and coming jazz crowd. Her most famous, and debatably controversial, of those was titled A Few Figs From Thistles, which touched upon sensitive issues such as female sexuality and feminism. The Roaring Twenties went by in a whirr of bright activity: Millay's lewdness with both men and women, abortions, reading tours, doting fans, and long stays abroad filled up every corner of her life (A Life on the Edge). The books came regularly, and in 1923 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for The Ballad of the Harp Weaver. Soon after, Millay tired of, “breaking hearts and …show more content…

Millay kept a chart of her daily drug intake, to discipline herself. One day's intake included: morphine, two gin rickeys, one martini, a beer, and half a pack of cigarettes -- all this before lunch. As her addictions spiraled out of control, she would keep herself awake day and night rather than miss her hourly morphine injections. To this chart she later added Nembutal, Benzedrine, Demerol, Seconal, luminal sodium, phenobarbitol, codeine, insulin and nervosine (A Life on the Edge). Her intake, she wrote, ''is too much, but not discouraging, considering how many different kinds of pain I have.'' Boissevain, in his desire to understand her pain took drugs himself to be closer to her

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