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In the following essay, Fried discusses Millay's use of traditional sonnet form in relation to the influence of modernism on her poetry, her repudiation of social conventions, and her status as a woman poet.
The article discusses the gender performance revealed and concealed in the lyric poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. It reveals that the literary works of Millay take the form of Petrarchian sonnet and usually conveys the complex, moral, and literary experiences of female poet. It reveals the modernist ideology depicted by the androgynous persona and the first person approach she used in her works. It cites the manipulation of gender performance in her private letters to Allan Ross MacDougal, Harriett Monroe, and Arthur Ficke. It analyzes the female sexuality shown in her poems "Love, Though for This You Riddle Me with Darts'' and "Bluebeard". Moreover, it discloses the gender performance in her poems "I know I Am But Summer to Your Heart" and "I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed."
In the following excerpt, Dobbs asserts that although Millay's domestic poems have suffered critical neglect, they are among her best works.
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