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 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 brings an unjustly neglected poet to a new generation of readers.
A best seller in his lifetime though neglected in recent years, Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) is due to be restored to his rightful place in literary history as one of the first great American Modernist poets. His poetry was revolutionary, though it looked deceptively conventional because it was written in metre and rhyme. He cast aside the stiff archaism and prettiness favoured by his contemporaries, instead employing everyday language with dramatic power, wit, and sensitivity. His lyric poems illuminate ordinary people, especially the downtrodden, the bereft, and the mistunderstood. In the process he created the gallery of character portraits for which he is most fondly remembered, among them Eben Flood, Aunt Imogen, Isaac and Archibald, Miniver Cheevy and Richard Cory.
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Edwin Arlington Robinson (December 22,1869 - April 6, 1935) was an American poet who won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.
Robert Faggen teaches at Claremont McKenna College.
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