Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

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A Happy Man


When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
........................
........................
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  • Michael Pruchnicki (1/11/2009 12:38:00 PM)

    There the happy man lies at rest 'in the region of the blest'! A contented elder savoring from beyond the grave his carefree and untroubled life among the living, he reflects on how he sailed through the troubles that may have beset others. And yet on second thought, this reader wonders if he didn't indeed slip and slide through his days on earth in the quiet sloughs of despond, ignoring reality for a humdrum existence measuring up to societal expectations. After all, he 'married his three sons right, ' suggesting that daddy knew best about the brides his sons should take. And he influenced his grandchildren from cradle to a consummation he doubtless had in mind for them from their day of birth. Perhaps his sons and his grandsons shed no tears at his going to his 'quiet rest, ' thankful to be rid of a 'happy man' who foisted his ideas of the good on them. Perhaps there were tears and sighs of anger at what he had done to them. As a notorious preacher intoned recently, it's not God bless a happy man, it's goddamn a miserable SOB! (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Melody (1/11/2009 1:48:00 AM)

    I like this poem and it is possible to feel this way, anyone who doubts this have not spent enough time with a content elder. (Report) Reply

  • Mhdeia Iwannou (1/11/2007 7:48:00 AM)

    It seems to me that he has been dead long before he wrote this poem. Like he expresses the pessimism one can get, having lived a boring life. (Report) Reply

  • Louise Myers (1/11/2006 12:34:00 PM)

    I just loved this write. It expresses to me a man
    that is drawing his strength from His Lord.
    His body may be found here among others
    laid to rest, but he will be very much alive
    with the Lord forevermore. So this is the
    reason that he wants no tears for himself,
    his life here on earth has been a full one
    with children and grandchildren. (Report) Reply

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