Edwin Arlington Robinson

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

Edwin Arlington Robinson Biography

Edwin Arlington Robinson was an American poet who won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.


Robinson was born in Head Tide, Lincoln County, Maine, but his family moved to Gardiner, Maine, in 1870. He described his childhood in Maine as "stark and unhappy": his parents, having wanted a girl, did not name him until he was six months old, when they visited a holiday resort; other vacationers decided that he should have a name, and selected a man from Arlington, Massachusetts to draw a name out of a hat.

Robinson's early difficulties led many of his poems to have a dark pessimism and his stories to deal with "an American dream gone awry". His brother Dean died of a drug overdose. His other brother, Herman, a handsome and charismatic man, married the woman Edwin himself ...

Edwin Arlington Robinson Comments

John Yokom 02 August 2021

I studied 'The Long race' as a teenager in High School.... and the lines came back to me as an old man, Poetry is a gift that keeps on giving.

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Michael Walker 11 February 2020

Some say that his poetry is old-fashioned, slightly out of date. However, I find elegance, craftsmanship and psychological depth in Robinson's best poems. To me, his writing endures.

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richard borda 23 July 2018

Silence If silence is to avoid the restless crowd but go todepths where mystery abounds then return with kerygma loud tis not silence but heavenly sounds

1 1 Reply
Christopher Gozdava 11 January 2012

The poem A Happy Man is an example for me of poorly sounding, but a metrically correct poem. One more proof that it is not a form but a final pleasing outcome that makes any art valuable.

31 36 Reply

The Best Poem Of Edwin Arlington Robinson

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

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