Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson

Length: 806 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Edwin Arlington Robinson


"Robinson has been the subject of more speculation…than almost any other poet of our time" (Franchere 7). Numerous events in his life are reflected through his poetry. Edwin Arlington Robinson was born on December 22, 1869 in his father's home in Head Tide, Maine beside the Sheepscot River. His family moved to the town of Gardiner, Maine, which was only a few miles away, when he was six months old. Gardiner is Tilbury Town used in his poems. He is the son of Edward and Mary Palmer Robinson. Dean and Herman were his older brothers, Dean being twelve years older, and Herman four years older. Researchers assume that he found no companionship with his brothers. However, one of his companions was an old shabby rocking chair. In that chair young Robinson would rock, read, and reflect upon the misfortune of his birth.
Dean, gifted and intelligent, was at twenty-two on his way to what all believed would be a highly successful career in medicine. Herman, handsome, outgoing, and always popular, unavoidably kept his younger brother in the shadow. The father's attention, at any rate, appears to have been devoted chiefly to Dean and Herman; it was almost as if Win (Edwin) had been an unplanned and unexpected child and, therefore, usually ignored (Franchere, 15).
It was during his high school career that he met Emma Shepherd. She was a beautiful girl from Farmingdale that attended a dancing school. Robinson fell in love with her, but it is unknown as to how much she loved him. Nevertheless, she sent him flowers on his high school graduation day. Everything changed in the summer of 1889. Robinson's suave and svelte brother, Herman, had returned from St. Louis. He became fond of Emma and sought her affection. They married in February of 1890. Robinson refused to attend the wedding because he could not bring himself to witness it. His other brother, Dean, loved Emma as well and attempted suicide on the night of the marriage.
Robinson's life was full of emotional tribulations. In 1892, Robinson's father, Edward, died after a gradual deterioration. By 1893 America was in a major depression. Edward Robinson had accumulated a considerable fortune that was critically reduced. 1896 was when Robinson's mother died of "black diphtheria." There were no morticians available, which caused the three sons to have to dig her grave and bury her.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Edwin Arlington Robinson." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=127954>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Edwin Arlington Robinson's Richard Cory Essay

- Edwin Arlington Robinson's Richard Cory I have always secretly envied my dearest high school friend Erin.  It was easy to be jealous of Erin since she was tall with beautiful blonde hair that turned many heads.  She possessed grace and style and had the coolest car.  Though people try to resist envy, most succumb to it from time to time.  As people focus on all that they lack, they tend to ignore the flaws in those they envy.  The observers in the poem Richard Cory allow envy to cloud their perception of themselves.         Cory appears to have it all.  The poor townspeople look at him and they see the qualities that they themselves lack.  An ugly person may believe that if they...   [tags: Edwin Arlington Robinson Richard Cory Essays]

Research Papers
798 words (2.3 pages)

Analysis of Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- In “Richard Cory”, Edwin Arlington Robinson uses irony, simplicity, and perfect rhyme to depict the theme of the poem. The rhyme in “Richard Cory” is almost song-like, and it continues throughout the whole poem. The theme of the poem is that appearances are deceiving. The poem is about a man who everyone thinks is a “gentleman from sole to crown”, who then commits suicide. Irony is used in the poem very skillfully to show that appearances may be deceiving. When reading the poem, you get caught up in the song-like rhythm and it intensifies the effect of the tragedy....   [tags: Richard Corey Edwin Arlington Robinson]

Research Papers
786 words (2.2 pages)

Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- Edwin Arlington Robinson was a depressed and sorrowful poet of the late nineteenth and early twentieth. On December 22, 1869, he was born in Head Tide, Maine to Edward and Mary Elizabeth Palmer Robinson. Hyatt H. Waggoner, author of “E. A. Robinson” writes that Robinson hated the name Edwin Arlington, because it was randomly picked by a stranger and is showed the “accidental nature of man's fate” (228). He was raised in a wealthy household and a highly educated neighborhood that sparked his curiosity for literature....   [tags: adulthood, depressed poet]

Research Papers
1399 words (4 pages)

Essay about Richard Cory By Edwin Arlington Robinson

- In 2015 it was estimated that there was around one hundred and thirteen suicides every day, which equates to one every thirteen minutes. A prevalent issue in our nation today, it is among the top ten causes of death among Americans. The problem with suicide and depression, it is hard to see. As in the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, he was an admirable man whom it seemed as though everyone loved and envied. Not until he put a bullet through his head did everyone realize that his life was not as perfect as everyone had expected....   [tags: Suicide, Bipolar disorder]

Research Papers
720 words (2.1 pages)

Essay Edwin Arlington Robinson's Poem Richard Cory

- Edwin Arlington Robinson's Poem "Richard Cory"      The poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a poem written about the town aristocrat named Richard Cory. It is written with four quatrain stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a, b, a, b, for each stanza. The poet’s use of hyperboles and regal comparisons when describing Richard Cory help to elevate him above the townspeople, and his nonchalant mentioning of Cory’s suicide leaves the reader in a state of shock.      The first stanza of the poem introduces Richard Cory as a respected man of town....   [tags: Edwin Robinson Richard Cory Essays]

Research Papers
645 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Edwin Arlington Robinson biography

- Supremacy 1) There is a drear and lonely tract of hell 2) From all the common gloom removed afar: 3) A flat, sad land it is, where shadows are, 4) Whose lorn estate my verse may never tell. 5) I walked among them and I knew them well: 6) Men I had slandered on life's little star 7) for churls and sluggards; and I knew the scar 8) upon their brows of woe ineffable. 9) But as I went majestic on my way, 10) Into the dark they vanished, one by one, 11) Till, with a shaft of God's eternal day, 12) The dream of all my glory was undone,-- 13) And, with a fool's importunate dismay, 14) I heard the dead men singing in the sun....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
923 words (2.6 pages)

Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- Edwin Arlington Robinson "Robinson has been the subject of more speculation…than almost any other poet of our time" (Franchere 7). Numerous events in his life are reflected through his poetry. Edwin Arlington Robinson was born on December 22, 1869 in his father's home in Head Tide, Maine beside the Sheepscot River. His family moved to the town of Gardiner, Maine, which was only a few miles away, when he was six months old. Gardiner is Tilbury Town used in his poems. He is the son of Edward and Mary Palmer Robinson....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- Many poets write about death and appearances. In the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, the author tries to communicate several things. Robinsons poem is about a rich man that commits suicide, and the thoughts of the people in town that watch him in his everyday life. In Richard Cory, Robinson is communicating that outward appearances are not always what they seem, an that money does not always make a person happy Through the poem, Robinson never hints to any relationships that Richard Cory may have had....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
568 words (1.6 pages)

Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- The narrator in “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a low class working citizen telling the reader, in detail, about a distinguished gentleman named Richard Cory who eventually “put a bullet through his head.” Almost everyone, including the narrator, would stare at him with awe every time they saw him. He was “imperially slim”(4), always charismatic and well-dressed. He was extremely courteous and polite. He would please everyone’s heart with a simple “Good Morning.” Then the narrator soon explains that on “one calm summer night” he executes himself by putting a gun to his head....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
668 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Miniver Cheevy"

- In Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem, the character, Miniver Cheevy, is a self-pitying dreamer who blames the world for his social status and poverty. The name Miniver Cheevy means to be an underachiever, minute accomplisher, and takes little action for his future. All of these weak characteristics hold true for the protagonist in the poem "Miniver Cheevy." One must express sympathy for a man "with reasons" to have "wept that he was ever born", but once it is understood that Miniver escapes the world of reality into his dreams induced by alcohol, the reader has a hard time still being compassionate for him....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Free Essays
234 words (0.7 pages)

Then in September 1899 Dean died. Herman later made Emma promise that if he were to die that she would not marry Edwin. Herman did die in February 1909, and Emma kept her promise.
Many critics reveal him as a dark mind dwelling on darker subjects. When Robinson was only six years of age he was quoting from Campbell's "Lochiel's Warning" and he read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" to his mother while sitting on the kitchen floor. That is possibly what sparked his interest in poetry. Also when he was young he read medical books that belonged to his brother Dean. In those books he saw portraits of the human figure in various stages of deterioration. Diseases such as leprosy, elephantiasis, and falling of the womb rotted the figures.
Pondering…life and death as he witnessed the solemn processions moving slowly into a neighboring cemetery, made of this dark-eyed, sensitive man-child a frightened hypochondriac. A thousand times he may have pictured himself half-eaten through and chilled and already ripe for the graveyard beyond his father's home. He asked himself how soon he would follow to the grave his close friend, Harry Morrell, who was a victim of diphtheria at eleven years of age (Franchere, 15).
It was when Robinson was in his late twenties that his first book was published in New York City. Henry Richards, Jr. was a teacher and one of his students was Kermit, a son of Theodore Roosevelt. Kermit Conferred with his teacher about books he should read and Henry Richards, Jr. gave him a copy of The Children of the Night. Kermit was impressed with the poetry therefore he sent it to his father in the White House. President Theodore Roosevelt was equally impressed and wanted to meet Robinson personally. When he met Robinson he discovered that Robinson was "barely scraping by on a laborer's salary" (Anderson 651) and arranged a job for him at the New York Customs House.
In Robinson's poems he often describes people he knows, but gives them a different name. For example, "Richard Cory" is a poem about his next older brother, Herman. Also, "Miniver Cheevy" is a self-portrait created by Robinson and presents the contradictions of his life.
The words used in "Richard Cory" delineate Herman. "He was a gentleman…clean favored…imperially slim…quietly arrayed…glittered when he walked…richer than a king…and schooled in every grace" (Collected Poems 82). The "people on the pavement" (82) praised the external perspectives of Richard Cory and ultimately wished they were him, because it seemed as though he had everything. Obviously Richard Cory did not have everything because he went home one night and "put a bullet through his head" (82). Robinson does not mention why, but leaves that for the reader's imagination. Herman, Robinson's brother, was an alcoholic. He had become an alcoholic due to stress in his life and eventually drunk himself to death. His death is similar to that of Richard Cory's because they both had so much in life, but never realized it, and always wanted more.
"Miniver Cheevy" is a poem about Robinson. The first and last stanzas especially portray him. Robinson was in fact a "child of scorn" (Collected Poems 347) and "wept that he was ever born" (347) as before mentioned. In the last stanza it states that Miniver Cheevy was "born too late" (348). Robinson felt that his birth was unplanned, which caused him to be ignored by his family. In this particular poem Robinson contrasts the past with the present, and ideality with reality.




Bibliography:

Works Cited
PRIMARY SOURCES
"Richard Cory." Collected Poems. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1937. 82
"Miniver Cheevy." Collected Poems. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1937. 347-348
SECONDARY SOURCES
Anderson, Robert et al. Elements of Literature; Literature of the United States. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1989. 651
Franchere, Hoyt. C. Edwin Arlington Robinson. Boston: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1968. 13-86
Return to 123HelpMe.com