Hard Cover. New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1917. First Edition. Fine.
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed by Millay on the front endpaper: "For Efrem Zimbalist / With his own bad pen, / Edna St. Vincent Millay." Publisher's black cloth, lettered in gilt, pages watermarked "AGM Glaslan"; in glassine wrapper. About fine copy, with a touch of rubbing to gilt at foot of spine, gilt bright elsewhere, Zimbalist's bookplate to front pastedown, light offsetting to front free endpaper inscription from bookplate, and embossed ownership stamp to front free endpaper. Overall, a beautiful inscribed copy of Millay's scarce first book. Housed in a custom maroon half morocco slipcase with folding chemise. Yost 3. Published the same year she received her undergraduate degree from Vassar, Renascence is Millay's first collection of poetry and includes "God's World," "The Suicide," "The Dream," and "Afternoon on a Hill" in addition to the eponymous "Renascence." Written when she was only nineteen, "Renascence" is hailed as both one of Millay's finest poems and the verse that won her recognition in the poetry world. Indeed, as William Lyon Phelps wrote in his 1921 review, "No one can read 'Renascence' without believing in the author's lyrical gifts." This copy is inscribed to Efrem Zimbalist (1889-1985), a world-class Russian violinist who later served as director of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Millay and Zimbalist were close friends, and his composition "Three Songs for Voice and Piano" was based on Millay's poems, "Rain Comes Down," "Mariposa," and "One, Two, Three." On the cover of a copy of the score held at the Curtis Institute, Zimbalist wrote: "One summer evening at 'Steepletop', the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Miss Millay was reading aloud some of her poems. In answer to my question, she admitted that in many instances, while writing a poem, a tune would be running through her head as the words took shape. Among such 'poem-tunes' as she sang for me that night, there were three which I thought so enchanting that I asked permission to develop them into the form in which they are found here." Item #ESVM094