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Copyright/plagiarism advice sought

  I'm a composer faced with a moral/artistic dilemma. I have written a
 couple of dozen melodies to words of Edna St. Millay, several of which are
 first-rate, and deserve very much to be heard. The problem is this: the
 Millay estate is very uncooperative, stubborn, and recalcitrant. If I were
 to knock-off her poems, i.e., write new lyrics which retain the original
 meter and emotional tenor of the original, would I liable to her estate?
 In other words, what constitutes plagiarism in poetry? The co-opting of
 the meter and the sensibility alone, even if all the words are different?
 Obviously, I'd prefer to use the original, since they are aesthetically
 wonderful, and my knock-offs would simply be the scribblings of a
 frustrated amateur who wants his music heard. Please e-mail me with your
 feelings and advice on this, if you would be so kind and /or tell me what
 sort of lawyer I should consult. Thanks so much folks.
   Following is an example of what I'm talking about. 
 Here's the original Millay poem:
  What lips my lips have kissed,
  And where and why I have forgotten.
  What arms under my head have lain till morning,
  But the rain is full of ghosts tonight
  That tap upon the glass, and sigh, and listen for reply.
  And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
  For unremembered lads that never again
  Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
  Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
  Knows not that its birds have vanished one by one,
  Yet knows its boughs more silent than before.
  I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
  I only know that summer sang in me a little while
  And in me sings no more. 
 Here is my knockoff:
  They come to me in dreams
  My loves, the ones I can't remember.
  I lay in ghostly arms, embraced in velvet...
  There are voices in the air tonight
  that murmur through the breeze, and moan, and sound so all alone.
  And in my soul I feel a poignant ache
  For half-forgotten boys 
  That never will make me shiver in the moonlight, like before.
  Once a garden bloomed in paradise,
  Full of luscious, fragrant blossoms side by side.
  Now stands an arid desert in its place.
  Their smiles turn into mist at break of dawn.
  I chase my phantom lovers thru the cruel harsh morning light
  Yet know full well they're gone.
  What do you think? Please e-mail me. Thanks again.
  Frank Feldman