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Analysis and comments on The Mill by Edwin Arlington Robinson

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Comment 7 of 17, added on October 15th, 2013 at 3:33 PM.
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Comment 4 of 17, added on June 29th, 2011 at 3:26 PM.
The Mill

I first encountered this poem as a senior in an English Literature class in
high school in 1962. I credit that class, and especially the work I did
with this poem...in particular the work I did with the word "long" with my
current interest in the contemplative practice of Lectio Divina. I did not
get the impression that the wife committed suicide, but that she certainly
contemplated it by reasoning in the dark.

Donna Lenahan
Comment 3 of 17, added on November 10th, 2009 at 4:31 PM.

This poignant poem gives one insight into the hardships Americans faced
during the Industrial Revolution.
I find it a bit disturbing and disappointing that you, Malcolm, believe
suicide to be an act of courage. It is, in fact, quite the reverse. In my
eyes, I believe the Miller and anyone who committs suicide is a coward
because they choose to quit on life. They are selfish as well because they
do not take into consideration who their death might drastically effect.
All I can say is that I will pray for you, Malcolm, that you may find peace
in life with God. Suicide is cowardice at its worst. Surely you are not
that.

brooke from United States
Comment 2 of 17, added on November 4th, 2009 at 9:00 PM.

It only states that the miller's wife is sitting by the dead fire imagining
all the things taking place in the poem. It leaves to your imagination
that the miller and his wife commited suicide. Also, I'm so sorry that no
comment has ever been left to Malcolm as to why he wants to commit
suicide...

Hannah from United States
Comment 1 of 17, added on June 15th, 2005 at 11:38 PM.

I first seen this poem in an English text in 1974 on a lost-n-found table
in a locker-room after a 9th grade basketball game I played in. I always
remembered this poem, and have always wished I'd had the guts to pull off
my own suicide... and I still don't. But, this poem is about a double
suicide. >"There are no mills anymore," is a statement of exasberation
about the industrial revolution, and the decline in need for antiquated
old-world ways of grinding grains in stream-fed grist mills. The "Miller"
hung himself, and his wife, upon discovering him hanging there, indeed,
flung herself into the black pool of water, that was momentarily disturbed,
but soon became calm again, just like the idleness of the Mill's
inoperative status that had caused her husband's grim decision to end it
all. I still want to do suicide, and I still don't have the guts, and I
credit this great poem and my memory of it for having given me cowardly
death by proxy all these many years. E.A.Robertson, you rocked-out-loud,
thank-you. --Malcolm McShannon, III

Malcolm McShannon, III from United States

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Information about The Mill

Poet: Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poem: The Mill
Added: Feb 4 2004
Viewed: 18518 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 23 2000


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