Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

Cliff Klingenhagen

Poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Cliff Klingenhagen had me in to dine
With him one day; and after soup and meat,
And all the other things there were to eat,
Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wine
And one with wormwood. Then, without a sign
For me to choose at all, he took the draught
Of bitterness himself, and lightly quaffed
It off, and said the other one was mine.

And when I asked him what the deuce he meant
By doing that, he only looked at me
And smiled, and said it was a way of his.
And though I know the fellow, I have spent
Long time a-wondering when I shall be
As happy as Cliff Klingenhagen is.

Comments about Cliff Klingenhagen by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (5/1/2015 9:12:00 PM)

    A very good Petrarchan sonnet. Cliff Klingenhagen is a polite, hospitable man. Cliff gives his guest the better wine to drink, and has only wormwood himself, which surprises his visitor. By putting others first, Cliff is happy.
    It implies that selfish people are unhappy.(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: happy, time, smile

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003