Explicating Poetry: A Case Study on Millay's "I shall forget you presently, my dear"

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Published at : 25 Jan 2021
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Poetry explications are one of the ultimate tests for any literature student. How do you conceive and defend an argument about a poem using nothing but the poem itself? This video shows you how to interpret, listen to, question, and write about any piece of poetry.

More Shakespearean sonnets: https://youtu.be/QSpiGJfvkek

More Edna St. Vincent Millay: https://youtu.be/Zh_karoGgDY


I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

-1920



Check out more of Millay's moving, passionate poetry: Modern Library Classics publishes an essential collection with a deeply informative introduction by Nancy Milford:

https://amzn.to/2GzbDtJ

Note: this book has my full endorsement which is why I'm pitching it here. Thus, if you buy this book through this link, I receive a small commission which will make my wallet happy, but my heart will be happier if you support used book stores and libraries...just saying.
PoetryEnglishLiterature

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