Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

Reuben Bright

Poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Because he was a butcher and thereby
Did earn an honest living (and did right),
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I;
For when they told him that his wife must die,
He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright,
And cried like a great baby half that night,
And made the women cry to see him cry.

And after she was dead, and he had paid
The singers and the sexton and the rest,
He packed a lot of things that she had made
Most mournfully away in an old chest
Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs
In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.

Comments about Reuben Bright by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (2/11/2020 6:00:00 PM)

    I was reading the sonnet just last night. Reuben's patience was finally exhausted.

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  • Sharon Noble (9/3/2018 1:36:00 PM)

    One of my favorites too. I adore Edwin Arlington Robinson. Read his Richard Cory - another of my favorites.(Report)Reply

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  • Jim Halleran (8/22/2006 5:18:00 AM)

    one of my fav poems-remember it from 41 years ago! !(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: baby, grief, women, house, night, woman

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Tuesday, July 18, 2006