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SELF-PORTRAIT
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Hair which she still devoutly trusts is red.
Colorless eyes, employing
A childish wonder
To which they have no statistic
Title.
A large mouth,
Lascivious,
Aceticized by blasphemies.
A long throat,
Which will someday
Be strangled.
Thin arms,
In the summertime leopard
With freckles.
A small body,
Unexclamatory,
But which,
Were it the fashion to wear no clothes,
Would be as well-dressed
As any.

IMAGE: Portrait of Edna St. Vincent Millay by William Zorach (1923).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry. During her career, she was one of the most successful and respected poets in America. Like her contemporary Robert Frost, Millay was one of the most skillful writers of sonnets during the twentieth century — and also like Frost, she was able to combine modernist attitudes with traditional forms, creating a unique American poetry. Her middle name came from St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, where she was born. Friends and family called her Vincent.