This page will enlighten you on the aspects of Edna St. Vincent Millay's life that inspired and influenced her famous pieces.
Childhood Plays & Music: As a child, Edna Millay was constantly acting out plays, playing instruments, and singing songs with her sisters, Norma & Kathleen. These songs and plays were the foundation for her career in literary and theatre arts. Music was also what influenced her love for, ability to write lyrical poetry.
Whitehall Inn, Mt. Battie, Maine: where young Edna Millay wrote a few of her first poems!
Shakespeare: As a child and adolescent, Edna really enjoyed reading the works of Shakespeare and later on in life, even tried to model her plays after his writing style.
College: College lectures, and life on campus exposed Edna to a lot of the social and political issues of her time, and these issues were what drove her to write a lot of her strongly-opinioned poetry and plays.
Women: Particularly, Wynne Matthison, who influenced the poem, "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed."
Facism: An ideology spreading in Europe, which influenced Edna Millay's poem, "Make Bright the Arrows" (1940).
“Ragged Island”: A small island off the coast of Maine, purchased for Edna by her husband, Eugen. Inspired her poem, "Ragged Island." (See picture above!)
Archaic & Latin words: Edna loved etymology (the study of the origin of words), so she used a lot of archaic words, as well as a lot of Latin words to enrich her writing.
Nature: Nature was highly influential to Edna because as a child growing up in Maine, and later, as an adult who sailed around the world, and then lived in secluded rural area of New York, she had been surrounded by a lot of the breath-taking beauty of nature. She just couldn't help but write about it!