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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Image of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Index to poems

Tumultuously void of a clean scheme
Whereon to build, whereof to formulate,
The legion life that riots in mankind
Goes ever plunging upward, up and down,
Most like some crazy regiment at arms,
Undisciplined of aught but Ignorance,
And ever led resourcelessly along
To brainless carnage by drunk trumpeters.
        (Octaves, 9-16)
  1. Ben Jonson Entertains a Man from Stratford
  2. The House on the Hill
  3. The Mill
  4. Miniver Cheevy
  5. Mr. Flood's Party
  6. Octaves
  7. Reuben Bright
  8. Richard Cory
  9. Supremacy
  10. Variations of Greek Themes. I. A Happy Man
  11. Villanelle of Change

Notes on Life and Works

Edwin Arlington Robinson was born on Dec. 22, 1869, at Head Tide in Maine and until 1897 lived at the family home in Gardiner, Maine, aside from several years as a student at Harvard University. For the rest of his life he moved in New York and devoted his life to writing poetry. Robinson earned a small living first as a subway inspector and then in the city's customs office. He resided in rooms at boarding houses in New York and Yonkers, at the Hotel Judson on Washington Square, in Brooklyn at 810 Washington Ave., and at last on West 42nd Street. His Collected Poems in 1922 received the Pulitzer Prize and earned him a degree as Doctor of Literature at Yale University. Although best known for his short poems, long poems such as Captain Craig (1902), Lancelot (1920), The Man Who Died Twice (1924), and Tristram (1927) earned him acclaim from his peers. The last two of these won Pulitzer Prizes in 1925 and 1927, when he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters. Robinson never married but enjoyed the company of many friends. He died of cancer in hospital in New York on April 6, 1935. Hermann Hagedorn's Edwin Arlington Robinson: a Biography (New York: Macmillan, 1938; PS 3535 O25Z67 Robarts Library) is the standard life. See Charles Beecher Hogan's A Bibliography of Edwin Arlington Robinson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1936) for a chronology, a list of publications, and an index of poems with dates.

Biographical information

Given name: Edwin Arlington
Family name: Robinson
Birth date: 22 December 1869
Death date: 6 April 1935