The MacDowell Colony 

The Writers

Edwin Arlington Robinson


Additional Links:

I Hear America Singing

Modern American Poetry

American Poems

Works Online:

Miniver Cheevy

The House on the Hill

The Mill

Mr. Flood's Party


Reuben Bright

Richard Cory


Villanelle of Change

Luke Havergal

The Mill


Ben Jonson Entertains a Man from Stratford

Variations of Greek Themes. I. A Happy Man

  Known for poems that portray the tortured lives of ordinary people, Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in Head Tide, Maine on December 22, 1869.  Shortly after his birth his family moved to Gardiner, Maine, which became the the model for Tilbury Town, the setting for many of his poems. Robinson attended Harvard from 1891-1893, but he death of his father in 1892 and the financial panic of 1893 forced Robinson to drop out of Harvard and  led to a dark period during which his family was bankrupted, his brother became a morphine addict and his mother died of diphtheria.  During this period Robinson worked on the poems that were published in The Torrent and the Night Before (1896) and The Children of the Night (1897), which included one of Robinson's most famous poems, Richard Corey.  In 1899 Robinson moved to New York City where he worked in the custom's office and as a subway inspector.  Robinson's first major publishing success was The Man Against the Sky (1916). Robinson was widely regarded as America's greatest poet during his lifetime,  receiving the Pulitzer Prize in 1922 for Collected Poems (1921) in 1925 for The Man Who Died Twice (1924); and in 1928 for Tristram (1927). For the last 25 years of his life Robinson spent his summers at the MacDowell Colony.

Works include: Merlin (1917): Lancelot (1920); Roman Bartholow (1923); and Matthias at the Door (1931). 


MacDowell Home
The Colony
The Colonists
Classroom Resources
Order the Video
© 2001 New Hampshire PBS
HomeThe ColonyThe ColonistsClassroom ResourceOrder the Video