Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem Miniver Cheevy


  1. Leonard Wilson says:

    This is one of Robinson’s lightest poems, but it has a sharp bite under the humor. Cheevy is a common kind of character, one who never does much, but has excuses for his lack of achievement. It isn’t really his fault. In Cheevy’s case, he was just born at the wrong time. There is nothing exciting or challenging in his own time and place, nothing to stir him up and cause him to exert his latent talents.

    Now if he could only have lived back in the romantic past, then he would have amounted to something. He would have swashbuckled with the best of those warriors of old. In his clever insinuations, Robinson gives us a pretty good hint that those ancient times weren’t so hot either. Whatever “iron clothing” might have been like, it certainly didn’t have much “grace” to it. And it is obvious that the bright swords and prancing steeds are part of an immature dreamer’s fantasies.

    I really can’t see anything of Robinson himself in Miniver Cheevy. Maybe he was displeased with his own childhood and his early lack of recognition, but I could never imagine him just sitting around wishing that things were different. Robinson was a hard worker, a very prolific poet.

  2. Tom McLean says:

    Miniver apparently wishes to escape to a simpler, storybook world rather than confront things as they are. Perhaps he may find it in a bottle.

  3. Agueda says:

    One of problems of miniver is his nostalgyc strong connection to the past that enables somehow to live in the present/another contrast is the love/hatred for money . Society requires of him earn a living, and he belives in Art for Art sake

  4. Ashley says:

    Who is the audience of this poem???

  5. aria collin says:

    I think that Robinson is telling the reader that no matter how frustarating a dream can be that someting you dream about and you know can never be obtained can still be something to strive for. Using your imagination only brings out your inner child and your real hopes and dreams. i think Robinson is telling the reader not to give up on themselves and keep pursuing what we want.

  6. Niko Carrafield says:

    Miniver Cheevy is a guy whose depressed and thinks the reason he is having problems is because of the time period he lives in. Miniver starts to think that he was born to late and he wishes he was born in the midevil times.

  7. Mike M says:

    When the character in the poem drinks, he seems to imagine a completely different world. A wolrd of fantasy which he was never born into. He wishes he would have been born earlier, in a time of fantasy. He loathes the idea of having to live in the wolrd he lives in now.

  8. Kevin says:

    This poem by Robinson represents his desire to live in the past. He refers to medieval times of Camelot and Thebes where bold knights and warriors glorified his image. Robinson despises the time period in which he is born and quotes, “He wept that he was ever born”.

  9. aria says:

    this poem i think represent a persons hopes and dreams. miniver dreams of living in the medevil times and hates the fact that he is stuck living in the present. i think everyone wishes they could live in a different place or time. Robinson only helps us remember our chilish desires in this poem.

  10. Saris says:

    You the other great thing about Miniver…hes a failure! a complete and total failure, and he blaims it on being bored a little to late…a regular loser

  11. Trevor says:

    Hahahaha you rock. Ok I’ll help you, even though it’s probably too late.

    Miniver Cheevy is a man who who believes that the problems in his life and feelings are due to his environment, namely the time period he lives in. He dreams of being in olden times, times of “camelot”, and “iron clothing”.

    If all your looking for is a general idea of what the poem is about, that is it, truly understanding each and every line and doing an analysis would take too long, so I’m not going to do it.

  12. britt says:

    i am doing an eng. assignment and i need help annalizing this poem idk what it’s about i need help,and fast.

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