Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life
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Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet's Life

4.7 of 5 stars 4.70  ·  rating details  ·  10 ratings  ·  3 reviews
At the time of his death in 1935, Edwin Arlington Robinson was regarded as the leading American poet. Yet over the years, Robinson's reputation has suffered, in part because of his well-known reticence. This book tells the story of his life, based on over 3,000 personal letters to family and friends.
Hardcover, 553 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Columbia University Press (first published December 12th 2006)
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Jim Hale
This is the 89th biography on my GR list and it goes straight to the top five. It’s hard to write a dispassionate review as I honestly don’t remember savoring the pages of a book like this in a long while. Author Scott Donaldson, who has earned praise for bios of John Cheever, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, admits that Robinson is the writer he admires most.

Donaldson’s research and writing are top shelf, and know this: if you’ve never appreciated EAR before, expect to be knocked out by the man and h...more
This book motivated me to want to read more of Robinson's poetry. I found many things to admire about Robinson's life. Also I was very interested to learn how the creative process worked for him.
I was delighted when Charles Simic reviewed this recently in the New York Review of Books---I'd been following Scott's progress on the book for several years and was deeply impressed with the scholarship. For starters, much of Robinson's correspondence was written in a weird code that a previous biographer had spent years laboring over, only to leave the work unfinished. Then revealing letters and papers sat in a warehouse, unviewable, for ages until complicated ownership issues could be worked...more
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