I first became acquainted with Millay’s poetry back in junior high school when I came across a volume of her poems in the school library with the picture of her (left) on the back cover. I remember thinking what a poetic name for a poet to have. Inspired after reading Milford’s revealing (maybe too revealing) biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Savage Beauty, I penned this sonnet. The title is taken from Milford’s biography.
SAVAGE BEAUTY: ODE TO EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
From what tormented demons did you seek escape?
A free-spirited, small-town New England girl:
Wholesome as a farm fresh glass of milk,
Delectable as a sun-ripened Georgia peach.
With both ends of your candle burning bright,
Your brilliance dazzled the big city literati,
So many falling in love with your sweet innocence – your biting wit.
What compelled you to lay in the arms of your various lovers,
If only for a single night? Were you some siren
Disguised as a mortal whose seductive call oft proved fatal
Or had Persephone once again tread upon this earth?
Along with Euclid, we too have looked on beauty bare.
We have heard the voice of Urania whispering in our ears
And have been enchanted by her bewitching songs and savage beauty.
(“Savage Beauty: Ode to Edna St. Vincent Millay” © Poeticmeditation, 2012. All rights reserved.)