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Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Richard Hood, 1910 - 1995
Sitter
Edwin Arlington Robinson, 22 Dec 1869 - 6 Apr 1935
Date
1933
Type
Print
Medium
Drypoint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 18.7 x 16.8 cm (7 3/8 x 6 5/8")
Sheet: 21.6 x 17.8 cm (8 1/2 x 7")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
NPG.72.66
Exhibition Label
President Theodore Roosevelt saved Edwin Arlington Robinson’s career and possibly his life—the poet was living a hand-to-mouth existence—in 1905 by giving Robinson a patronage appointment at the New York Customs House. The poet wrote that he owed Roosevelt “some of the most powerful loafing” that had ever come his way. Robinson appealed to Roosevelt because he was a throwback in terms of both style and subject matter. He avoided free verse and favored dramatic monologues on homey topics, which he infused with a sense of melancholy and sadness. Probably his most famous poem, “Miniver Cheevy,” was an ironic meditation on being out of step with time: “Miniver loved the days of old / When swords were bright and steeds were prancing; / The vision of a warrior bold / Would set him dancing.” It is not known if Roosevelt got the irony or just took away the horses prancing.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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