Millay What Lips My Lips Have Kissed Where And Why

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Edna St.Vincent Millay’s “What lips my lips have kissed, Where and Why” is an Italian sonnet of the reflection of Millay’s love affairs in her youth, and her current sorrow as she grows older. Millay uses a variety of literally devices and combines them to make a complex and meaningful sonnet. One the main literally devices Millay uses is imagery, in which form together the main idea of how emotions can last even though moments and memories vanish. These images alter the readers interpretation of the poem because it emphasizes her personal feelings of loss over a period of time through visual rather then narrative concepts. A sonnet is usually divided into 2 different parts, in which help the reader examine two contrastive ideas/images. “What…show more content…
The lines “What arms have lain under my head till morning..Ghost tonight” (2-3) show Millay admitting that she was very careless and replaced her lovers easily. She does not give any impression that she developed any sort of relationship, because when she states the phrase “Until morning”, we assume it was a ‘One-night stand’. Millay then compares the forgotten lovers to “Ghosts” and is aware of the fact that she caused her lovers pain, and the reader can get a sense of guilt from that descriptive image alone. The turing point of the main idea of the sonnet begin during the last 6 lines. “Thus winter stands the lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone” (6-14). Here, Millay's description portrays a visual image of her loneliness and regretful emotion for all the lovers of her past who she won’t see again. She even states that the memories actually “Stir a quiet pain.” In lines 9-12, she compares herself to a lonely tree that wishes the summer songbirds were back. This gives the reader the idea that the ‘songbirds’ were possibly her lovers, and that she has grown old and that her brief summer time of lustrous youth, full of songs, has

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