Edwin Arlington Robinson

September 5, 2006


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


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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