Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Thursday" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

And if I loved you Wednesday,
  Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday–
  So much is true.
And why you come complaining
  Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday,–yes–but what
  Is that to me?
                                   Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay is nothing if not a feminist, and "Thursday" is a remarkable production of that mindset. Millay is known today for her numerous love affairs, with both men and women, and her activism for gender equality, which she had the credentials to support being the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923.

"Thursday" is very much Millay's voice which is acting as our narrator. She loves a man, or that is what she told him, Wednesday, but by Thursday she does not. It does not matter that she loved him the day before, because in twenty four hours time, she has changed her mind. She ends with "-yes-but what/Is that to me?". Even in today's day and age, women would probably be high-fiving each other over that last line. However, it means even more when you think about the time period this was written in.

"Thursday" was published in the year 1921, the very beginning of the Women's Rights Movement. However, it really is something to think that from the time Millay was writing "Thursday", it would take over forty years to pass the Equal Pay Act, over fifty years to make it illegal for men to rape their wives, and the still going debate today over the legality of abortion.

Millay was a woman ahead of her time. She used her inner thoughts, projected them through her love affairs and her writings, and that is what allows her to become the poet she was: she wrote about what she knew and what she believed in.

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