Withal a meagre man was Aaron Stark, —
Cursed and unkempt, shrewd, shrivelled, and morose.
A miser was he, with a miser’s nose,
And eyes like little dollars in the dark.
His thin, pinched mouth was nothing but a mark;
And when he spoke there came like sullen blows
Through scattered fangs a few snarled words and close,
As if a cur were chary of its bark.

Glad for the murmur of his hard renown,
Year after year he shambled through the town, —
A loveless exile moving with a staff;
And oftentimes there crept into his ears
A sound of alien pity, touched with tears, —
And then (and only then) did Aaron laugh.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem Aaron Stark


  1. Lena says:

    this poem is almost the opposite of richard cory
    i like it more not because of the happy ending but because of the character in a few lines he is deeply described making him actually seem real

  2. Carlos Claure McCalmont says:

    Why did you choose such a person? Any particular interest? Do you happen to have a good biography of Aaron Stark?
    By the way, I do like your poem

  3. Aaron Kaplan says:

    I found this poem when looking for some other poetry. My first thought was that I wanted to be dissasociated from the subject from whom is it takes its title. The poet draws a sharp picture of what my namesake “Aaron” is like. His description may be a bit extreme, but I believe that I would immediately recognizethe other “Aaron” if we were to suddenly meet on some dark street. This is the beauty of word pictures that are done well using a flowing vocabulary that could describe a real person.
    The poem seems to cut off after a couple stanzas. Is there more?

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