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First Fig

First Fig

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

First Fig Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Is the light that the candle gives off something that the speaker herself can see? Why might this matter?
  2. How would the poem be different if it didn't rhyme? Would it feel sadder? Happier? 
  3. Why do you think the speaker addresses her foes before her friends? What does this say about her audience?
  4. Do you think that life gets used up or burned out if you live too exciting a life? Why or why not? How might the speaker answer that question? 
  5. Is using clichés like "burning a candle at both ends" a bad move for a poem? Why or why not?

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