Edwin Arlington Robinson

(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

Edwin Arlington Robinson
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Edwin Arlington Robinson was an American poet who won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.


Robinson was born in Head Tide, Lincoln County, Maine, but his family moved to Gardiner, Maine, in 1870. He described his childhood in Maine as "stark and unhappy": his parents, having wanted a girl, did not name him until he was six months old, when they visited a holiday resort; other vacationers decided that he should have a name, and selected a man from Arlington, Massachusetts to draw a name out of a hat.

Robinson's early difficulties led many of his poems to have a dark pessimism and his stories to deal with "an American dream gone awry". His ... more »

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  • ''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.''
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), U.S. poet. Richard Cory (l. 13-16). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Ox...
  • ''Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time,
    Tiering the same dull webs of discontent,
    Clipping the same sad alnage of the years.''
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), U.S. poet. The Clerks (l. 12-14). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.
  • ''You fade—as if the last of days
    Were fading and all wars were done.''
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), U.S. poet. The Dark Hills (l. 7-8). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O...
  • ''They are all gone away,
    The house is shut and still,
    There is nothing more to say.''
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), U.S. poet. The House on the Hill (l. 1-3). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., ...
  • ''He may have had for evil or for good
    No argument; he may have had no care
    For what without himself went anywhere''
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), U.S. poet. The Man against the Sky (l. 77-79). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed...
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  • Christopher Gozdava (1/11/2012 1:20:00 PM)

    The poem A Happy Man is an example for me of poorly sounding, but a metrically correct poem. One more proof that it is not a form but a final pleasing outcome that makes any art valuable.

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