Edwin Arlington Robinson

September 5, 2006

edwin-arlington-robinson.jpg
(1869-1935)

Most of his work was done before American’s modernist movement, but poetry heralds elements of what was to come
Best known for portraits of individuals
Wrote dramatic monologues and blank-verse narratives
Lived thoroughly impoverished while becoming a poet
Received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1922 for his Collected Poems, in 1925 for The Man Who Died Twice and in 1928 for Tristram

Quotations:

The are all gone away, / The House is shut and still, / There is nothing more to say.
Through broken walls and gray / The winds blow bleak and shrill: / They are all gone away.
Nor is there one to-day / To speak them good or ill: / There is nothing more to say.
Why is it then we stray / Around the sunken sill? / They are all gone away,
And our poor fancy-play / For them is wasted skill: / There is nothing more to say.
There is ruin and decay / In the House on the Hill: / They are all gone away, / There is nothing more to say.

-The House on the Hill (in whole)

Whenever Richard Cory went down town, / We people on the pavement looked at him: / He was a gentleman from sole to crown, / Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed, / And he was always human when he talked; / But still he fluttered pulses when he said, / ‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich-yes, richer than a king- / And admirably schooled in every grace: / In fine, we thought that he was everything / To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light, / And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; / And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, / Went home and put a bullet through his head.

-Richard Cory (in whole)

Simon and Garfunkel recorded a song based on the poem

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn, / Grew lean while he assailed the seasons; / He wept that he was ever born, / And he had reasons.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late, / Scratched his head and kept on thinking; / Miniver coughed, and called it fate, / And kept on drinking.

-Miniver Cheevy

The miller’s wife had waited long, / The tea was cold, the fire was dead; / And there might yet be nothing wrong / In how he went and what he said: / ‘There are no millers any more,’ / Was all that she had heard him say; / And he had lingered at the door / So long that it seemed yesterday.

-The Mill

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