poet Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson

#306 on top 500 poets

Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of the warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Mininver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the medieval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about Miniver Cheevy by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (8/2/2019 10:56:00 PM)

    Miniver is a man who was born into the wrong times. He preferred the illustrious names and deeds of the past to the modern world. Miniver could be speaking for Robinson himself.

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  • shoshazo (10/17/2018 9:50:00 AM)

    My father often recited this poem, but with variations. I remember this verse:

    Miniver Cheevy child of scorn
    “Cursed the day that he was born
    And he had reason”

    And also:

    (I forget the first line, but the verse ended...)
    “He only does it to annoy
    And could stop it if he pleased.”

    Does anyone know such a parody of this poem?

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  • Dr. Brian Smith (12/4/2006 4:32:00 AM)

    To live in the past; to live the world that isn't; to be deeply dissatisfied with one's lot in life to the extent that one misses his own life experience altogether, and then what there is to drown it in alcohol: such was Miner Cheevy's lot.

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