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Oh, hi, didn’t see you there!

In Millay’s sonnet that begins: “When I too long have looked upon your face,” Millay compares looking at her lover’s face to staring at the sun. With this comparison, she goes on to say that when she looks away she becomes confused and startled, as if nothing around her is similar to her anymore, she becomes “A silly, dazzled thing deprived of sight / From having looked too long upon the sun” (7-8). This image is breathtaking in the fact that almost everybody has tried to stare into the sun, only to look away and be startled by the darkness that immediately surrounds them. Her comparison of the sun to her lover makes the poem stand out, the image creating such an identifiable circumstance. To me, this is the most striking image in all of her sonnets because of how many people can identify with the situation; not being in love, but staring at the sun. The image Millay uses captivates the reader as if it is the sun itself, with looking away causing confusion and temporary blindness!


Joe Taglieri