Trying to find my love of poetry again. E.A. Robinson sketches a neo-con quite accidentally.
It's been awhile since I read poetry on any regular basis or that matter even picked up a recent year's best of anthology but in this week's Time I saw a mention of E.A. Robinson, a poet who never much impressed me until a chat with a friend about good luck and envy intersected with this Time story about the Binghamton massacre of a week or so ago.
The poem mentioned in the piece was so bleak, I had to have more so I looked up a few critiques and especially good one lead to this piece -- and it seems to embody the longing of the most vehement of the neo-cons in my life (a mix of self-loathing, and a sense of the uncanny and a tragic feeling of lost opportunity). It's kinda fun to comp lit with politics. That's a new one for me. Enjoy:
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 a warrior bold
Would send 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.
Miniver 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.
-- Edwin Arlington Robinson