Re: Edna St. Vincent Millay: “There was no other voice like hers in America. It was the sound of the ax on fresh wood.”

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“Readers who explore this new edition will come away with a resonant understanding of why, as Peppe notes in her introduction, ‘Millay’s work has had extraordinary staying power with the general reader, despite the fluctuating literary and cultural tastes of the last century.’ Millay’s best poems combine story and song, two of the greatest human pleasures, in ways that refuse to be forgotten. Her language reminds us of poetry’s essence as an art form that ultimately lives its fullest life as an echo in our inner-ears, a realm beyond classrooms, scholars, and critics. Recalling the first time he saw the young Millay recite her poems in a Manhattan literary salon, Louis Untermeyer said: ‘There was no other voice like hers in America. It was the sound of the ax on fresh wood.’ In the pages of this new Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, we can still hear the wood splitting.”

A Lovely Light: Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay – Caitlin Doyle – Literary Matters

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One poem mentioned in the review is “Spring,” which “along with Jackson’s notes about the piece, complicates any overly simplistic narratives about Millay as an old-fashioned versifier unwilling or unable to keep pace with her more future-minded contemporaries.”
Spring
Edna St. Vincent Millay 
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.

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