Selected Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Selected Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Language: English

Pages: 257

ISBN: 0020705301

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

1966 1st Ed Collier
















Sylvester, and Young George— Were eyes and ears; for there was only one Aunt Imogen to them in the whole world, 5    And she was in it only for four weeks In fifty-two. But those great bites of time Made all September a Queen’s Festival; And they would strive, informally, to make The most of them.—The mother understood, 10    And wisely stepped away. Aunt Imogen Was there for only one month in the year, While she, the mother,—she was always there; And that was what made all the

dead/Before God lets him die,” as Rembrandt says to himself in “Rembrandt to Rembrandt.” A would-be poet who knows “The Rubaiyat” and the “Song of Roland,” Eben Flood (whose name suggests both the “ebb and flow” of a fluid and wavering character as well as a figure facing annihilation) responds to his life stripped of friends by singing, but only to a phantom of himself, alone, on the edge of nothingness, his vessel of futurity filled with drink. Like Richard Cory or Miniver Cheevy, the distance

that his charm revealed Somehow the surface of a shield? What was it that we never caught? 80    What was he, and what was he not? How much it was of him we met We cannot ever know; nor yet Shall all he gave us quite atone For what was his, and his alone; 85    Nor need we now, since he knew best, Nourish an ethical unrest: Rarely at once will nature give The power to be Flammonde and live. We cannot know how much we learn 90    From those who never will return, Until a flash of

if in doubt of me? Was I not saying 5    That I should come to Rome? I did say that; And I said furthermore that I should go On westward, where the gateway of the world Lets in the central sea. I did say that, But I say only, now, that I am Paul— 10    A prisoner of the Law, and of the Lord A voice made free. If there be time enough To live, I may have more to tell you then Of western matters. I go now to Rome, Where Caesar waits for me, and I shall wait, 15    And Caesar knows how

the sonnet “Dear Friends”: “So, friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,/The shame I win for singing is all mine,/The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.” Clearly he chose the integrity and perfection of his work over any kind of success in a culture he considered corrupt with money. Robinson’s pride was crippling, and his work in the subway consumed and depressed him. The years 1902 to 1904 found the poet suicidal and indulging deeply in drink. Then spectacular good fortune came to him

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