I can think of no other living writer who has so consistently dedicated his life to his work. He was the third son of a wealthy New England merchant, a man who had little use for the fine arts. He was, however, encouraged in his poetic pursuits by a neighbor and wrote copiously, experimenting with verse translations from Greek and Latin poets.
He described his childhood in Maine as "stark and unhappy": His brother Dean died of a drug overdose.
His other brother, Herman, a handsome and charismatic man, married the woman Edwin himself loved, but Herman suffered business failures, became an alcoholic, and ended up estranged from his wife and children, dying impoverished in a charity hospital in In lateat the age of 21, Edwin entered Harvard University as a special student.
He took classes in English, French, and Shakespeare, as well as one on Anglo-Saxon that he later dropped. His real desire was to get published in one of the Harvard literary journals.
He was even invited to meet with the editors, but when he returned he complained to his friend Mowry Saben, "I sat there among them, unable to say a word".
Edwin returned to Harvard for a second year, but it was to be his last one as a student there. Though short, his stay in Cambridge included some of his most cherished experiences, and there he made his most lasting friendships.
He wrote his friend Harry Smith on June 21, I suppose this is the last letter I shall ever write you from Harvard. The thought seems a little queer, but it cannot be otherwise.
Sometimes I try to imagine the state my mind would be in had I never come here, but I cannot. I feel that I have got comparatively little from my two years, but still, more than I could get in Gardiner if I lived a century.
Robinson had returned to Gardiner by mid He had plans to start writing seriously. In October he wrote his friend Gledhill: Writing has been my dream ever since I was old enough to lay a plan for an air castle. Now for the first time I seem to have something like a favorable opportunity and this winter I shall make a beginning.
With his father gone, Edwin became the man of the household. She twice rejected marriage proposals from Edwin, after which he permanently left Gardiner.
He moved to New York, where he led a precarious existence as an impoverished poet while cultivating friendships with other writers, artists, and would-be intellectuals.
In he self-published his first book, The Torrent and the Night Before, paying dollars for copies.At the time of his death in , Edwin Arlington Robinson was regarded as the leading American poet-the equal of Frost and Stevens. In this biography, Scott Donaldson tells the intriguing story of this poet's life, based in large part on a previously unavailable trove of more than 3, personal letters, and recounts his profoundly important role in the development of modern American literature.
ROBINSON, Edwin Arlington (22 Dec. Apr. ), poet, was born in Head Tide, Maine, the son of Edward Robinson, a timber merchant and civic leader, and Mary Elizabeth Palmer. Shortly after his birth the family moved to nearby Gardiner, where he grew up; the town later provided the model for a series of poems that he wrote throughout his career.
On December 22, , Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in Head Tide, Maine (the same year as W. B.
Yeats). His family moved to Gardiner, Maine, in , which renamed "Tilbury Town," became the backdrop for many of Robinson's poems. Collected Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson. New York: The Macmillan Company, Richard Cary, Uncollected Poems and Prose of Edwin Arlington Robinson (Waterville, Maine: Colby College Press, ) The Poetry of E.
A. Robinson, selected and with an Introduction and Notes by Robert Mezey. New York: The Modern Library, Edwin Arlington Robinson's Life and Career Bill Peschel R OBINSON, Edwin Arlington (22 Dec. Apr. ), poet, was born in Head Tide, Maine, the son of Edward Robinson, a timber merchant and civic leader, and Mary Elizabeth Palmer.
Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in the village of Head Tide in the town of Alna, Maine, on December 22, , third son of Edward and Mary Elizabeth (Palmer) Robinson. Because his mother had expected a daughter, no male name had been selected for a possible son.