Chief Work1

Chief Work1 - Chief Works A speaker for the dispossessed,...

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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works A speaker for the dispossessed, Robinson achieved greatness with "Miniver Cheevy" (1910), a frequently anthologized portrait of a shortsighted malcontent, often taken for the poet himself. Like Cliff Klingenhagen, Fleming Helphenstine, and John Evereldown, the name "Miniver," perhaps a combination of "minimum" and "achieve," sets the main character apart from the ordinary New Englander. The poet selected a complex quatrain stanza with an alternating rhyme scheme that conveys order and control. He overleaps the constraints of a simple four-beat line with lengthenings "When swords were bright and steeds were prancing" and ominous shortenings, "Could he have been one." The autumnal note of longing that anchors the tone of the poem derives from the speaker's sighings for past valor and the distant settings and legendary figures found in classic literature. To Miniver's for past valor and the distant settings and legendary figures found in classic literature....
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