Theme Analysis for Poet “Edwin Arlington Robinson”
Poetry is characterized as one of the strong mediums of literature that is used by poets to express their feelings. Undoubtedly, this is one of the influential forms of expression to convey the central message concisely and phenomenally. The world has experienced a great form of poetic work by popular poets in different periods. Messages delivered by these poets played a vital role as even today’s generation can relate to the crux of old classic poems. This specific phenomenon appeared because elements of poetry were appropriately utilized by poets to deliver their main themes to a potential audience. Edwin Arlington Robinson is recognized as one of the most influential American poets of the twentieth century. His memorable poetic piece of work is mainly established in the form of short poems. In this paper, my primary focus is to show that the poetic contribution of E.A. Robinson mostly emphasized on factors of imaginative pursuit, materialism, and the unavoidability of change in the context of personal failures in life.
It is important to present a brief background of E.A. Robinson to make better inferences about his central themes of poetry. He was born in a small village of Head Tide, Maine on December 22, 1869. In 1870, he moved to the area of Gardiner, Maine with his family, which was categorized as “Tilbury Town”. This geographical region has a greater significance because most of his poetry connects with the life spent in this town. He used the literary medium of poetry to express the feelings and difficulties he faced in childhood. He lived in a period when the country of America was reconstructing and changing dramatically, mainly in the form of industrial changes and developments. He presented traditional domains of society and included the changing societal factors, which were mostly in the forms of transcendentalism and puritanism. The specific poetic theme of Robinson better apprehends by considering some of his most influential poems. The deep analysis of these poems can be helpful to determine the overall poetic style, voice, and poetic philosophy developed by the poet to express his main theme successfully. The five popular and influential poems of E.A. Robinson selected for this analysis include Richard Cory, Merlin, Miniver Cheevy, Children of the Night, and Town Down the River.
Analysis of “Richard Cory”
“Richard Cory” is a renowned piece of poetry created by E.A. Robinson to deliver his main idea in a concise manner. This poem is established as a narrative domain, which illustrates a story version to the potential audience. This poem was first published in 1897 and it immediately gained huge popularity. The character of Richard Cory was comprehensively developed by the poet to deliver the actual narrative along with the theme. The main subject of this poem is the title character, who was critically observed by people when he moved through town. Robinson, as a poet, to develop a necessary connection between narrator and Richard Cory, successfully uses the element of narration. In other words, the entire poem is based on the narrator’s feelings and perceptions about the character of Richard Cory. The gentleman's perspective of Richard Cory was different from the townspeople, that ultimately encouraged them to focus on his unique dressing style.
The poet, in this poem, used Richard Cory to convey his message. The technique of the four-line stanza is applied for the poetic form of Richard Cory. It is also vital to indicate that an ABAB rhyme poetic scheme was selected by the poet to convey the main meaning of the poem directly and successfully. This particular approach characterized as the consideration of the first and third lines of each stanza rhyme. The overall voice of the poem is another critical aspect to make better inferences about the writing approach of E.A. Robinson. The continuous changes in the narrator’s tone help the audience to recognize the potential voice of this poem. The author, in the form of poem narration, successfully incorporated various poetic instruments as the poet’s voice. Robinson successfully utilized the poetic approach of metaphor in this poem to explain the main theme of this poem.
The poetic style of Robinson in this poem is considered as a unique style. This style is known as iambic pentameter. The poet uses this form of the meter by adopting options of a downbeat and upbeat approach to develop an idea of rolling rhythm in the poem. The adoption of this poetic style has helped the poet to illustrate his main themes in the form of systematic narration to the audience. Consideration of rhythmic poetic style in this poem has eventually made it easy for the audience to recognize the materialistic aspirations of the transitional society. The glory of Richard Cory was greatly fantasized by the people of the economically deprived town. A comprehensive assessment of E.A. Robinson’s poetic voice in this poem is also a necessary condition to make better inferences about the main idea of his poetry. The element of syntax in the form of words of arrangement is greatly used by the poet to create an influential feel in the entire text.
Analysis of “Merlin”
“Merlin” is another poetic piece of exemplary literary work created by E.A. Robinson to define the reality of human beings in society. It was published in 1917 that depicts the strong influences of World War I. The element of transition is greatly apprehended by the poet in this poem that helps the audience to strongly connect with the social change of the earlier phase of the 20th Century. This poem is characterized as one epic long piece of Arthurian poems. A deep reading of this poem indicates a creative prospect established by Robinson. The story of King Arthur presented in this poem is characterized as a different approach because Arthur was not portrayed as a hero who was always on the right track. In other words, the development and depiction of the character of Arthur and his knights illustrated the bare reality of social life. Illustration of King Arthur in a diverse manner eventually helped the audience to recognize E.A. Robinson as one influential modern poet. The overall spirit and treatment of this poem are recognized as an example of a modern poem that profoundly talks about personal failures in someone’s life. This specific approach can be recognized as the basic theme of this poem that invites the audience to focus on the positive and negative aspects of any character.
The narrative style of poetry was used by E.A. Robinson in this poem to illustrate King Arthur’s discussion with his knights. The contemporary approach of writing was utilized by the poet to successfully convey the main theme, tone, and overall poetic style to the potential audience. All the elements of poetic voice used by Robinson in this poem eventually connect with the main idea that is presented in this piece of poetry. Arrangement of words in the form of syntax is helpful to clearly establish a conversation between different characters in this poem. Moreover, character development is another strong factor utilized by E.A. Robinson in this poem. The depiction of Arthur King is different as compared to the conventional approach of poetic writing. Robinson never crafted the character of King Arthur as the all heroic individual who never faced any inner weakness.
Poetic philosophy is another influential factor established by E.A. Robinson in the form of “Merlin”. The central philosophy of this poem truly connects with the main theme of the unavoidability of change and failure of an individual in life. These factors are dramatically portrayed by Robinson through the narrative of King Arthur. Illustration of many new motifs in this poem helps critics to visualize the narrative of King Arthur is a diverse manner. Merlin’s legendary role was used as the foundation to depict the entire development of Arthur. This form of development ensured Merlin as the mandatory part of King Arthur’s narrative. The allegorical style of this poem ultimately gave a piece of hope to the audience. The central philosophical idea behind this narrative is that faith and love are mandatory elements to restore hope for an individual.
Analysis of “Miniver Cheevy”
The development of the modern world is the fundamental idea of “Miniver Cheevy” crafted by E.A. Robinson. It is a poetic story of an individual’s immense dissatisfaction to properly functions in a changing world. In other words, it is a tale of personal disappointments handled by a person in case of the unavoidability of social change. The style of narration was adopted by E.A. Robinson for this poem which was firstly published in 1910. The discontent of human beings in modern society was developed by Robinson through the character of Miniver Cheevy, who even wept that he was born and one example of failure in society. The factor of fate was tragically used by a speaker in this poem to define the hardships and tranquilities of this life. The entire narrative created by Robinson through the character of Miniver Cheevy truly depicts the basic themes of poetry embraced by the poet throughout his career. The changing factors of the modern world were under discussion through the character of Miniver Cheevy in this particular poem. The main idea of the poem was successfully developed by the poem that the misery of the modern world is entirely different from the heroic aspects of the traditional form of society.
Various literary devices and stylistic techniques used by the poet helps audience to apprehend the main theme of this narrative poem. The element of diction as the voice of the poem was successfully delivered the miseries and disappointments of Cheevy as the unfortunate individual in the modern world. The discount of the young boy was successfully described by Robinson to establish the hardship of societal change. Anaphora is another literary device successfully utilized by Robinson to grab the audience’s attention towards the main theme of this poem. Some words, such as “thought” was repeatedly used by Robinson to enhance focus on all the emotions of discontent that appeared in the case of the main character of this poem. The aspect of allusion was also successfully used by the poet in this poem to define the imaginative perspective of young Miniver who wanted some form of escape from his current situation of life. Imaginative pursuit as one central poetic theme of E.A. Robinson can be clearly witnessed in the disappointed character of Miniver who constantly considered the memory of past glorification and never able to embrace the changing reality of the society. The tone of pitying used by Robinson to successfully portrayed thoughts of dismal and disappointment of Miniver Cheevy as the main character. This tendency of the overall poem illustrates how the main character was not able to accept the changing reality of society and dreaming of old-fashioned time. The satirical style of this poem clearly defines the central philosophy of this poem that as the individual, it was immensely difficult for Miniver Cheevy to embrace the reality of the new world as in its thoughts, he still stuck in medieval time-period. The phenomenon of social transition was not easy for him and this idea is the ultimate reality of every individual.
Analysis of “Children of the Night”
The poem, “Children of the Night” is another significant example that clearly depicts the central poetic theme of E.A. Robinson as a great modern poet. It describes the connection between darkness and hope. It further established the immense need for human beings to remain positive in life, which is undoubtedly one difficult approach. This poem first published in 1897 that describes the comparison of various aspects of life. The factors of misery and despair are extensively discussed by the poet to deliver the main theme to the audience in an effective manner. The quatrain style with the inclusion of rhyming words is used by Robinson in this poem to describe the explicit differences between different elements such as disappointment and hope, dark and light, etc.
The factor of poetic voice is also successfully utilized by the poet to depict two different approaches to life. This particular reveals in the form of successful use and arrangement of words in this poem. Two entirely different sides of this world are successfully compared by the poet by developing a tone of comparison between different words. The poetic philosophy of this poem successfully portrayed the main theme of poetry developed by E.A. Robinson as one great unconventional poet. His main poetic theme in the form of despair and disappointment of human beings is explicitly established by defining the difference between optimist and pessimist individuals. It is established by the poet through this poem that darkness in someone’s life is one hostile factor that made it immensely difficult to successfully sustain in life and find light in the entire scenario of disappointment.
Analysis of “Town Down the River”
“Town Down the River” is another example of classic poetic work presented by E.A. Robinson to illustrate the chronic reality of this world. This piece of poetry originally published in 1910. Various poetic features and expressions used by Robinson to convey the main theme of the poem to the audience. The poetic style of naturalism used in this poem to successfully define the reality of life. It is established by the presenter that life is a combination of two opposite forces that appeared as dark side and positivity. It is strongly comprehended through the use of specific words in this poem that unfortunates in life made it difficult for human beings to accept the changing reality of this world. The failure of an individual is this form eventually causes immense dissatisfaction with anyone with the new developments of life. The central themes of poetic themes of materialism and unavoidability of social change are established by Robinson in this poem. The force of imagination in the form of children’s dreaming also developed the philosophical idea of imaginative pursuit successfully delivered by the poet. Different rhyming words used in this poem to powerfully deliver the main poetic philosophy to the audience in a comprehensive manner. Proper arrangement of words established the great tone of this poem that helps the audience to successfully connect with various aspects of life in a social context.
To conclude the critical discussion on the main poetic themes presented by Robinson as a great poet, it is vital to indicate that he used a more conventional and modern domain of writing to express the transition of life. The growing change in society in a particular time period is the main poetic philosophy of Robinson that appears in the case of all his selected poems. He defines the hardships of someone’s life when it comes to accepting the changing domain of modern society.
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