The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Holley’s Review #12 of 12
The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
1923 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

In the interest of A) finishing the Book Awards Reading Challenge, B) celebrating National Poetry Month and C) finding some poetry I like, I decided to give Edna St. Vincent Millay’s work a try. She was recommended to me by a valued patron at the library so I knew I’d found my final selection when I noticed this work had also won an award.

In this work I found everything I love in poetry. Things to ponder on, things to sigh over, things to cry about…a great collection all together! I found a particularly good passage in Three Songs from “The Lamp and the Bell”:

“Summer, for all your guile,
Will brown in a week to Autumn,
And launched leaves throw a shadow below
Over the brook’s clear bottom,--
And the chariest bud the year can boast
Be brought to bloom by the chastening frost.

I love the imagery of the shadow on the bottom of the brook from a fall leaf floating on its surface. I can see the picture so clearly in my mind and it reminds me of those great, perfect-temperature fall days when you can take a walk in a wooded area and feel the sunlight dappling your skin and a light breeze lifting your hair. Fall is my favorite season and this poem in particular played to the season's every strength.

Happy Reading!