Edwin Arlington Robinson's finely crafted, formal rhythms mirror the tension the poet sees between life's immutable circumstances and humanity's often tragic attempts to exert control. At once dramatic and witty, his poems lay bare the loneliness and despair of life in genteel small towns, the tyranny of love, and unspoken, unnoticed suffering. The fictional characters he created in "Ruben Bright," "Miniver Cheevy," and "Richard Cory," and the historical figures he brought to life--Lincoln in "The Master" and the great painter in "Rembrandt to Rembrandt"--harbor demons and passions the world treats with indifference or cruelty. With an introduction that sheds light on Robinson's influence on poets from Eliot and Pound to Frost and Berryman, this collection bring an unjustly neglected poet to a new generation of readers.
Robert Faggen teaches at Claremont McKenna College.