What are the summary and literary theme of Edna St. Vincent-Millay's sonnet "love is not all: it is not meat nor drink"? I am writing an analytical essay on this sonnet and would like some idea as to what it is about.

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The theme of this poem is the indefinable and yet undeniable importance of love in a human life, despite the fact that it seems to serve no practical purpose. First, the poet begins by outlining all the things that love is not and that may seem more vital than it, such as "meat," "drink," "slumber," and "a roof" over one's head. Indeed, it is hard to argue that love is "all" when it cannot physically save us: if we are injured, it cannot "set the fractured bone," clean our diseased blood, or give us breath where there is none. Despite this, the poet suggests that a lack of love can still be a cause of death. Although we cannot define how it is that love keeps us alive, many people find themselves "making friends with death" because they are unloved. While love does not physically sustain us, it certainly makes life worth living and is vital for us to be truly alive.

In the closing section of the poem, the poet questions, "in a difficult hour," whether she could exchange the love of her...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 565 words.)

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