Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poem for an April Day #10: "Miniver Cheevy"



April is national poetry month.
April is drawing to a close.  Just another week to go!  Here's another often-anthologized poem you might remember from your old high school lit book, "Miniver Cheevy."

Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
     Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
     And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
     When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
     Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not
     And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
     And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
     That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
     And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
     Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
     Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
      And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the medieval grace
     Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
     But sore annoyed he was without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
     And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
     Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
     And kept on drinking.

     -Edwin Arlington Robinson

Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry three times.  Pretty good, unless you're Robert Frost.  He won it four times.

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