Edna St. Vincent Millay, that once-towering literary figure, was less than five feet tall and only eighteen years old when she wrote the 214-line philosophical poem, “Renascence,” that would make her famous. One evening, her enchanting public reading of it (she was a fine elocutionist and amateur actress, with an accent that was said to sound vaguely British but like nobody else’s), in conjunction with her performance of songs of...


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