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Edwin Arlington Robinson - Caput Mortuum

Not even if with a wizard force I might 
Have summoned whomsoever I would name, 
Should anyone else have come than he who came, 
Uncalled, to share with me my fire that night; 
For though I should have said that all was right,
Or right enough, nothing had been the same 
As when I found him there before the flame, 
Always a welcome and a useful sight. 

Unfailing and exuberant all the time, 
Having no gold he paid with golden rhyme,
Of older coinage than his old defeat, 
A debt that like himself was obsolete 
In Artís long hazard, where no man may choose 
Whether he play to win or toil to lose. 

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Added: Jun 3 2005 | Viewed: 427 times | Comments and analysis of Caput Mortuum by Edwin Arlington Robinson Comments (1)

Caput Mortuum - Comments and Information

Poet: Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poem: Caput Mortuum

Comment 1 of 1, added on December 15th, 2010 at 12:08 AM.
Artist Outliving His Fame

The real question in this sonnet is whether Robinson is positioning himself as the narrator or the old poet. Probably both, as he ruminates on an artistís fame, and how thoroughly gone it is when it goes away, and how bittersweet it is when the poet sees his reputation die while yet he has the power of creation in him.

Orson Scott Card from United States

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