EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON: A Critical Study by Ellsworth Barnard


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A patient and exhaustive analysis of the clean, hard genius of E. A. Robinson. Assuming that the average reader approaches Robinson's poetry with wary timidity, (an assumption most certainly justified) Dr. Barnard leads the reader gently to the poetry itself, in careful, cautious untangling of the intricate verse. In the course of the analysis, he examines in detail Robinson's technique, language, meter, and other devices, both as self sufficient creations and instruments, philosophy and values. He is never guilty of the parts from the whole, and every tributary examination leads to the main stream of poetic experience. In a brilliant chapter on Robinson's characters, the author recreates the world of the poet, a world in which men and women act according to their intrinsic natures, a world where few find happiness, though they realize a freedom of choice, a glimpse of the light. This emphasis on a neglected phase of Robinson's work in perhaps a signal contribution of the critic, and makes this a valuable analysis not only for students of Robinson, but for students of the explicatory method of criticism. All in all, however, a defined market.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1951
Publisher: Macmillan