What are the poetic devices used in the poem "First Fig", by Edna St. Vincent Millay? How does the author use diction to create tone?

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morrol eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The speaker in the poem "First Fig" by Edna St Vincent Millay creates a tone of longing and sadness combined with joy. The complexities in such a short poem are immense. The beginning of the poem in filled with diction that represents loss. Words like "burns", and "will not last the night" express what soon will no longer be. Then, with a rhapsodic "ah", the speaker turns the poem to say that the very thing that will soon burn out is "lovely". This creates a tone of hope, and a metaphor for the human experience. Human lives who burn furiously may fade fast, but the light and beauty that they create is beautiful.