Chief WorksEdna St. Vincent Millay had been erroneously categorized as just another woman writing about love until feminist critics revived her canon with fresh insights into her stark images and commentary on humanist themes. A sizable portion of her early works displays a hard, intellectual edge and harsher determinism. One of the early sonnets, "Euclid Alone Has Looked on Beauty Bare" (1923), lauds structure. To demonstrate logic, the text further constrains the fourteen-line Petrarchan form by reducing the number of rhymes from five to four. The rhyme scheme of abbaabbacddccd admits only one feminine foot with "nowhere," which ends on an off beat. The subject is also tightly controlled, focusing on geometry as the only pure beauty.In contrast, "The Return" (1934), a less idealized study of transience, pictures nature as a constant, a
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St. Vincent Millay, varying line lengths, early works displays, fourteenline Petrarchan form, bittersweet love plaint.