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Miniver Cheevy
(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

Miniver Cheevy

Poem By Edwin Arlington Robinson

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 the 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.

Mininver 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 was he 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.

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Comments (3)

Miniver is a man who was born into the wrong times. He preferred the illustrious names and deeds of the past to the modern world. Miniver could be speaking for Robinson himself.
My father often recited this poem, but with variations. I remember this verse: Miniver Cheevy child of scorn “Cursed the day that he was born And he had reason” And also: (I forget the first line, but the verse ended...) “He only does it to annoy And could stop it if he pleased.” Does anyone know such a parody of this poem?
To live in the past; to live the world that isn't; to be deeply dissatisfied with one's lot in life to the extent that one misses his own life experience altogether, and then what there is to drown it in alcohol: such was Miner Cheevy's lot.


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