I Too Beneath Your Moon Almighty Sex Analysis

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This essay will argue that in ‘I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex’, Edna St. Vincent Millay uses several poetic devices, for example the volta, an anaphora of ‘and’, a metaphor of ‘the tower’, the use of the letter ‘i’ and caesuras in the last sestet of the poem in order to emphasize the fact that she is proud of her own poetry and the energy she put into her poems.
First of all, a crucial element in ‘I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex’ is the use of the volta. It is located after the eighth line of the poem. This is frequently used in a Petrarchan sonnet like this one, which consists of two quatrains and one sestet. Before the volta, Edna St. Vincent Millay describes the way other people judge the poet’s sexual experiences at night
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Vincent Millay uses an anaphora of the word ‘and’ in the last two lines of ‘I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex’ in order to sum up the ‘ingredients’ she used in her poetry (“honest bone / Is there, and anguish; pride; and burning thought; / and lust is there; and nights not spent alone.”). The word ‘and’ is used four times in these last two lines. With this part of the poem, she wants to express the fact that poets write their poetry for the purpose of beauty but they have to work with what they are given. What is available for Millay in order to make poems are the ‘materials’ she comes across during her life, such as: honest bone, anguish, pride, burning thought, lust and nights not spent alone. In this part of the poem, Edna St. Vincent Millay uses a lot of caesuras. She uses four caesuras in the penultimate line and concludes the poem with a line which consists of a single caesura. The consequence this use of caesuras has on the poem is that each individual part of the sentence is emphasized, all ingredients she is summing up can be seen as equally important. This creates a more dramatic effect to the poem. According to Narret (2009), “This is an (Italian) Petrarchan sonnet of great technical mastery in its handling of the form, tightly focused topic and dramatic…show more content…
Vincent Millay admits she had some inspiration from her sexual life. With the words “And lust is there, and nights not spent alone”, she means living a sexually active life directly helped her to make her poems as good as they are. Again, she is proud of what she established and did it with the ‘materials’ from her daily life. Before the volta, Edna St. Vincent Millay declares she is neither “noble nor complex”. With this expression, she refers to a trend in Western thinking that people have noble passions and base passions. On the one hand, noble or complex passions should be cultivated. These are things such as listening to classical music, drinking fine wines and appreciate poetry. Lust and the desire for sex, on the other hand, are base passions and should not be encouraged. But the poet claims she is not noble and not complex. She is definitely not ashamed about this, because of the fact that her sexuality was a great inspiration for her poetry. This is also a reason why she addresses her sonnet to ‘almighty Sex’. Brittin (1982) holds the view that ‘I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex’ is “a defiant sonnet asserting that her work is absolutely sincere, ‘wrought from what I had to build with,’ coming out of her far from perfect self and including lust ‘and nights not spent alone’.”
To conclude, it is possible to state that in ‘I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex’ Edna St. Vincent Millay expresses her sense of pride about her poetry
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