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The poem "Miniver Cheevy" by Edwin A. Robinson paints an interesting picture of a man so completely obsessed with celebrated historical accounts that he despises the present day

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Introduction

Miniver Cheevy The poem "Miniver Cheevy" by Edwin A. Robinson paints an interesting picture of a man so completely obsessed with celebrated historical accounts that he despises the present day. It seems as though Miniver Cheevy's romantic idealism ends up becoming his downfall when stating, "Miniver coughed, and called it fate,/ And kept on drinking." "Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn, Grew lean while he assailed the seasons; He wept that he was ever born, And he had his reasons" This first stanza of the poem provides an idea of the poem's theme, but we learn this is not a happy story. The verse tells the reader about a child treated with disrespect, or not worthy of anything but disdain in his life. During the second line the reader finds out that, the protagonist either became very thin, or more likely, wound up beaten and worn while going through life. ...read more.

Middle

Obviously this character knew history, and would rather live in King Arthur or Priam's age as part of a legend, than live in his current situation. He wanted his name remembered forever, a name that people would some day read about in stories and poems. In the fourth stanza, the author describes fragrant names, lack of romance, and the lack of appeal art has in present day. In the fifth stanza he mentions the Medici, a name remembered by many as rich art collectors and financers of artists. Robinson separates the line about the loss of passion for art and the line of his love for the Medici in two different stanzas, but they definitely relate. Then, he speaks a piece of truth that we hear nowhere else in the poem. When speaking about the Medici he states, "He would have sinned incessantly," which tells the reader he may have another problem in his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Miniver Cheevy, born too late, Scratched his head and kept on thinking; Miniver coughed, and called it fate, And kept on drinking." All appearances show Miniver as an educated man, yet living in a constant state of nostalgia and depression. The protagonist feels trapped inside a reality that he does not want, and does everything he can to undo that reality in his mind. In this last stanza, Robinson tells the reader Miniver was born in the wrong era, a man this set on glory should have been born many years earlier. It seems he felt the same as many people have felt these days, and that problem focused on idealizing and romanticizing about the past. This desire develops in so many as a way to escape the present, more than actually wanting to live in the past. Evidently Miniver was trying to escape his present situation and his mode of escape was alcohol and dreaming. ...read more.

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