Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

Aaron Stark


Withal a meagre man was Aaron Stark, --
Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.
A miser was he, with a miser's nose,
And eyes like little dollars in the dark.
His thin, pinched mouth was nothing but a mark;
And when he spoke there came like sullen blows
Through scattered fangs a few snarled words and close,
As if a cur were chary of its bark.

Glad for the murmur of his hard renown,
Year after year he shambled through the town, --
A loveless exile moving with a staff;
And oftentimes there crept into his ears
A sound of alien pity, touched with tears, --
And then (and only then) did Aaron laugh.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Aaron Starck (2/18/2005 2:38:00 AM)

    simply put, a masterpiece. through the author's words, i easily related to the inner turmoil of Aaron - don't we ALL feel the cold ostracism that Aaron experiences at times? his despicable nature is apparent, culminating with the biting final stanza:

    'And then (and only then) did Aaron laugh.'

    I know how you feel Aaron, I know how you feel. May you finally rest in peace. (Report) Reply

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