I have a question to do on the poem 'The princess recalls her one adventure' by Enda St Vincent Millay. I dont understand it . Can anyone help?Hard is my pillow Of down from the duck's breast,...

I have a question to do on the poem 'The princess recalls her one adventure' by Enda St Vincent Millay. I dont understand it . Can anyone help?

Hard is my pillow
Of down from the duck's breast,
Harsh the linen cover;
I cannot rest.

Fall down, my tears,
Upon the fine hem,
Upon the lonely letters
Of my long name;
Drown the sigh of them.

We stood by the lake
And we neither kissed nor spoke;
We heard how the small waves
Lurched and broke,
And chuckled in the rock.

We spoke and turned away.
We never kissed at all.
Fall down, my tears.
I wish that you might fall
On the road by the lake,
Where the cob went lame,
And I stood with my groom
Till the carriage came.

Asked on by emmaf60

1 Answer | Add Yours

childele's profile pic

childele | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

As you analyze this poem, you have to think about the poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay and her life.  Born in 1892, Millay was born in a time period where people had certain expectations of the ways that women should behave.  The rights of women were limited.  Millay did not agree with this way of thinking.  She was a feminist, a person who fought for women’s rights. Use the link below to look up information about the poet’s life.

The poem “The Princess Recalls Her One Adventure” illustrates Millay’s feelings about marriage and lost love.

The first stanza of the poem reflects a feeling of unrest.  The speaker cannot get comfortable in her bed.  Is her pillow really hard?  Are the linens really harsh?  As a reader, we infer that something is bothering the bride.

The last three stanzas refer to the memories of a lost love.  The bride is crying, reading love letters and reminiscing about a love.  You must think about what kinds of questions you have regarding this lost love.  Include these questions in your response.

Finally, we learn in the last two lines that the speaker is a bride. She is most likely entering a marriage she doesn’t want to enter.

As a reader, you must combine your background knowledge about the time period in which the poem was written with your own questions and inferences about the poem.

We’ve answered 318,947 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question