Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study is an analysis and an appraisal of the most significant shorter poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson. The first chapter begins with a review of the body of periodical and book-length treatments of Robinson. To date, there is no extended study devoted exclusively to isolating and examining the poet's achievements in the shorter poem. The first chapter concludes with a discussion of the critical method employed in the selection and examination of the poems singled out for study.

Individual discussions of each of the twenty-six poems comprise the second, third,and fourth chapters, which correspond roughly to the early, middle, and late years of Robinson's poetic career. The following poems are examined in the second chapter: "Luke Havergal," "The House on the Hill," "Aaron Stark," and "The Clerks" from The Children of the Night, "The Growth of 'Lorraine,'" from Captain Craig, "The Whip," "How Annandale Went Out," "Miniver Cheevy," and "For a Dead Lady" from The Town Down the River. The entire third chapter is devoted to discussing the following poems included in Robinson's best volume, The Man Against the Sky: "Flammonde," "The Gift of God," "Cassandra," "Hillcrest," "Eros Turannos," "Veteran Sirens," "Another Dark Lady" and "The Poor Relation." In the fourth chapter, the following poems are examined: "The Mill" and "The Dark Hills" from The Three Taverns, "Mr. Flood's Party," "Lost Anchors," and "The Long Race" from Avon's Harvest, and "The Sheaves," "Karma," "En Passant," and "New England" from Dionysus in Doubt.

Even though each of the twenty-six poems is discussed individually as a separate and distinct unit, there are certain consistencies in subject matter, themes, and techniques that are recognizable in the poems. These are discussed in the final chapter since their recurrence provides an index to the Robinson method in his most successful shorter poems.