She fears him, and will always ask
What fated her to choose him;
She meets in his engaging mask
All reason to refuse him.
But what she meets and what she fears
Are less than are the downward years,
Drawn slowly to the foamless weirs
Of age, were she to lose him.

Between a blurred sagacity
That once had power to sound him,
And Love, that will not let him be
The Judas that she found him,
Her pride assuages her almost
As if it were alone the cost–
He sees that he will not be lost,
And waits, and looks around him.

A sense of ocean and old trees
Envelops and allures him;
Tradition, touching all he sees,
Beguiles and reassures him.
And all her doubts of what he says
Are dimmed by what she knows of days,
Till even Prejudice delays
And fades, and she secures him.

The falling leaf inaugurates
The reign of her confusion;
The pounding wave reverberates
The dirge of her illusion.
And Home, where passion lived and died,
Becomes a place where she can hide,
While all the town and harbor side
Vibrate with her seclusion.

We tell you, tapping on our brows,
The story as it should be,
As if the story of a house
Were told, or ever could be.
We’ll have no kindly veil between
Her visions and those we have seen–
As if we guessed what hers have been,
Or what they are or would be.

Meanwhile we do no harm, for they
That with a god have striven,
Not hearing much of what we say,
Take what the god has given.
Though like waves breaking it may be,
Or like a changed familiar tree,
Or like a stairway to the sea,
Where down the blind are driven.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem Eros Turannos

3 Comments

  1. Brittany Vest says:

    I thought this poem was all encompassing. It made me feel things I have never felt before. I am truly enraptured with this poem and poet. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to ingest more of his orgazmic work. I truly love him.

  2. Brenda says:

    I remembered this poem from 15 years ago in college when my son’s girlfriend needed something for a high school debate class. It was the first one that jumped into my mind and I’ve always loved it. It fit her needs perfectly… this would be a good one for teaching the ‘gossip’ aspect!

  3. MRod says:

    I use “Eros Turannos” to help my students understand the real problems of gossip.

    The psychological aspect is riviting!

    This is one of the few perfect poems ever written! With all the bad lyrics teenagers listen to these days, what a delight it is to hear something so thought-provoking and beautiful and tragic and haunting. I never tire of reading it…

    I imagine Geoff Tate and Steve Perry would have a blast singing these words to music!

    Go E.A.

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