Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The House on the Hill -- Edwin Arlington Robinson

Posting this for Martin, who's currently offline:
(Poem #872) The House on the Hill
 They are all gone away,
 The house is shut and still,
 There is nothing more to say.

 Through broken walls and gray
 The winds blow bleak and shrill:
 They are all gone away.

 Nor is there one today
 To speak them good or ill:
 There is nothing more to say.

 Why is it then we stray
 Around the sunken sill?
 They are all gone away.

 And our poor fancy-play
 For them is wasted skill:
 There is nothing more to say.

 There is ruin and decay
 In the House on the Hill
 They are all gone away,
 There is nothing more to say.
-- Edwin Arlington Robinson
Not, perhaps, a poem about depression, but certainly a depressing poem.
Arlington, here, doesn't attempt to overcome the intrinsic limitations of
the villanelle; rather, he uses the repetition and the choppiness to
reinforce the images of passing time, death and decay.

The theme is, in fact, very reminiscent of Hardy, if not handled with the
latter's skill. Arlington's keenly observant eye, very much in evidence in
his character-based poems, seems to have deserted him here; the images don't
quite ring true, or evoke the mood the poet is trying for.

Indeed, the main reason I like this poem is as an example of how clever
wordplay, meaning twists and grammatical tricks are not necessary in order
to write a villanelle, nor is any sort of self-reference, humour or allusion
to the form. 'The House on the Hill' is a straightforward use of the form -
the repeated lines are simply repeated, with no apology or workaround. And
if this isn't that good a poem, the fault is in the content, not the form.

-martin.

Biography: poem #234

Links:

  Compare Hardy's 'During Wind and Rain' for a better treatment of the
  theme: poem #96

  And Thomas's 'Do Not Go Gentle' for the canonical example of a villanelle
  that works both around and with the form:
    poem #38

  See, also, the archive for several better poems by Robinson:
    [broken link] http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/index_poet.html

32 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Costa Rica Cheap Land for Sale said...

Hello I want to congratulate to them by its site of the Web of the excellent looks like entertained and very good very to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my Web site.

wine production said...

Hi I liked your information is very interesting ... these blogs about such interesting topics and I think I should love to offer more of these items as excellent ... thanks for the post

public sex positions said...

I love poems
my mom saw your website and liked

Anonymous said...

gs4g4

moving company said...

I love Arlington. I wish there were authors as unique as he was nowadays. Reading this piece made me want to brush up on my old collection.

Anonymous said...

LUV DIS POEM!<3

Anonymous said...

i am doing a report on this poem!

moving service chicago said...

I am very impressed to your blog you did a very hard work. and I really appreciate you to sharing such a useful post, Great Job!

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

William Smith said...

Really nice Service and best article in this blog. Seo and Web Design | Top Seo Services |

Anonymous said...

What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience concerning unpredicted emotions.


Feel free to surf to my blog post ... mad-man-muzik.com

Anonymous said...

I still dont understand what the poem means . :(

Program Studi Ilmu Administrasi Negara said...

Nice, i read this article blog's is greate and nice blog, wellcome to this admin blog's cipto junaedy

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Post a Comment