Love Poetry By Edna St. Vincent Millay

1927 Words Nov 10th, 2015 8 Pages
Courtly Love Poetry
Whenever modern poetry is mentioned, there is an overwhelming consensus that it involves an onslaught of free verse with irregular structure “Modern poetry was seen as not rhyming, even when it did rhyme; as obscure and difficult, even when it was at its most lucid and limpid” (Schmidt, 3). There is also a stereotype that traditional forms of poetry that were popular in the past were abandoned. However, when looking at examples of modern poetry, it becomes clear that this is not the case. Whilst it is true that many modern poets have embraced the free verse form of poetry, others have adopted classical poem forms. Tweaking them slightly so that can adapt to the modern world. Thus reviving these forms and making them more fresh and relevant. American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay can be seen to fit into this category. She is particularly well known for her sonnets. This essay will analyse one of Millay’s sonnets in to context of the evolution of courtly love poetry. The history of the sonnet will also be examined to demonstrate how Millay has faithfully refashioned her poems. However, whist Millay has kept the construction of sonnet pure she has differed in the message it portrays. Hence this essay will also deconstruct Millay’s poem and discuss how its tone differs from traditional courtly love poetry.
According to Burt and Mikics (6) the origins of the sonnet can be traced back to France and the courts of Sicily in the thirteenth century. It is…
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