By Scott Donaldson
On the time of his demise in 1935, Edwin Arlington Robinson used to be considered as the major American poet-the equivalent of Frost and Stevens. during this biography, Scott Donaldson tells the exciting tale of this poet's lifestyles, dependent largely on a formerly unavailable trove of greater than 3,000 own letters, and recounts his profoundly vital position within the improvement of recent American literature. Born in 1869, the youngest son of a well-to-do relatives in Gardiner, Maine, Robinson had brothers: Dean, a physician who turned a drug addict, and Herman, an alcoholic who squandered the kin fortune. Robinson by no means married, yet he fell in love as many as 3 times, such a lot lastingly with the girl who may turn into his brother Herman's spouse. regardless of his shyness, Robinson made many shut buddies, and he again and again went out of his solution to supply them his aid and encouragement. nonetheless, it used to be continuously poetry that drove him. He looked writing poems as not anything lower than his calling-what he have been wear earth to do. suffering via lengthy years of poverty and overlook, he accomplished a voice and a subject all his personal. He used to be the 1st to jot down approximately traditional humans and events-an sincere butcher fed on through grief, a miser with "eyes like little money within the dark," historical clerks in a dry items shop measuring out their days like bolts of material. In easy but robust rhetoric, he explored the internal worlds of the folk round him. Robinson used to be a big poet and a pivotal determine during sleek American literature, but through the years his attractiveness has declined. along with his biography, Donaldson returns this awesome expertise to the pantheon of significant American poets and sheds new mild on his enduring legacy. (2/1/2007)
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Extra resources for Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life
Silence. ” Silence. “I know why this little boy doesn’t talk. ” The fussed-over child, keeping silence, stuck out his tongue for reply. So began Robinson’s lifelong struggle with social helplessness. With one or two others, he could conduct a conversation. In larger groups, he found it difficult to say anything at all. ” At that age, he often perched on the front end of the rocking chair in the Robinsons’ front parlor, lost in introspection. “When I was a small child,” he wrote Amy Lowell two weeks earlier than his letter to Mrs.
Harpswell Neck, a narrow peninsula extending thirty miles from Burnswick to the sea, was originally settled by farmers and fishermen. With the development of steamboats in the mid-nineteenth century, a tide of visitors ventured across Casco Bay from Portland and points south, and the area was transformed into a flourishing summer resort. The Robinson family settled in at Seaside House, one of several boarding houses catering to visitors after the two hotels at South Harpswell burned down in the 1860s.
2 Oaklands, Gardiner’s manor house designed by Richard Upjohn. Source: Photo by James Arthur Hayes, Maine Historic Preservation Commission. the Lyceum, the first industrial arts school in America. And in 1836, he constructed Oaklands, the family’s manor house. Located a discreet two miles south of town on an estate of 400 acres, Oaklands was designed by the eminent Richard Upjohn. With its crenellated turrets and long access road stretching from the Kennebec, the massive mansion resembled a medieval fortress.