Poetry

Feast

In “Feast,” Edna St. Vincent Millay explores the complex mechanisms of human desire. The narrator speaks from a place of experience and weariness, having “drank at every vine.” Having felt and fulfilled the full array of human wants, the narrator realizes that desire has no end. Drinking the wine does not erase thirst, nor does eating the fruit forever alleviate hunger. As the narrator observes, thirst and want are more “wonderful” than any wine or fruit. In the final stanza, the narrator makes peace with the unending experience of longing, and chooses to “lie down lean/With my thirst and my hunger.”

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