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I, Being born a Woman and Distressed Summary & Analysis
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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"I, Being born a Woman and Distressed" is a sonnet written by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay. Millay published "I, Being born a Woman and Distressed" in her collection The Harp-Weaver, and Other Poems in 1923. In the poem, Millay separates lust from rationality and, even, affection. Lust, Millay's speaker makes clear, can exist without either—a rather radical opinion for a female writer to take at the time. Although the poem is written using a classic form, its frank portrayal of lust and women's sexuality subverts many traditional expectations for sonnets as well as for depictions of women.

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