Edna's Poem 'Love Is Not All'

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In “Love is not all” Edna St. Vincent Millay uses a unique approach for a love poem, instead of describing what love is she describes what love is not. Even though she uses this original approach to a love poem she is still able to describe the importance of love. Edna is still able to portray her theme because she uses the structure, imagery, and alliteration in her poem to convey her theme that love may not be necessary for survival but life without love is a life not worth living.
One of the biggest poetic techniques that Edna uses in her poem “Love is not all” is structure. The structure of Edna’s poem is an English Style Sonnet. “Love is not all” has 14 lines, 3 quatrain of four lines each, and rhyming couplets of two lines making it an English style sonnet. The rhyme scheme of the first quatrain is a,b,a,b, with the first line ending with “drink”(1), the second line ending with “rain”(2), the third ending with “sink”(3) and the fourth ending with “again”(4). The rest of the poem follows the sonnet structure with the last two lines ending in g,g. “Or trade the
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Edna uses alliteration several times throughout the poem. Some examples of this is when she writes “Yet many a man is making friends with death” (7) or “Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.” (8). Alliteration is also important in portraying the theme because Edna uses the most alliteration during the change of what love is not versus what love is making the theme and the change more obvious.
Edna uses several poetic techniques for many different reasons as well as one main reason of portraying the theme. Without these poetic techniques Edna would not have been able to portray her theme as well as she did in “Love is not all”. The unique approach and the use of structure alliteration and imagery that Edna uses in the poem all help to portray the theme of the poem as well as make the poem fun to read and
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