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Robinson, Edwin Arlington.

Robinson, Edwin Arlington (b. Dec. 22, 1869, Head Tide, Maine, U.S.--d. April 6, 1935, New York, N.Y.)

American poet who is best known for his short dramatic poems concerning the people in a small New England village.

After his family suffered financial reverses, Robinson cut short his attendance at Harvard and went to live in New York City, where he worked as a timekeeper on subway construction. From The Children of the Night (1897) to The Man Against the Sky (1916), his best poetic form was the dramatic lyric, as exemplified in the title poem of The Man Against the Sky. Among his best poems of this period are Cory, Richard, Miniver Cheevy, "For a Dead Lady," "Flammonde," and "Eros Turannos." Robinson's work attracted the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt, who gave him a sinecure at the U.S. Customs House in New York (held from 1905 to 1909).

Merlin (1917) was the first of his long blank-verse narrative poems based on the King Arthur legends, followed by Lancelot (1920) and Tristram (1927). Robinson's Collected Poems appeared in 1921. The Man Who Died Twice (1924) and Amaranth (1934) are perhaps the most often acclaimed of his later narrative poems; later short poems include Mr. Flood's Party , "Many Are Called," and "The Sheaves."

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Publication:Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
Article Type:Brief biography
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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