Christmas was in the air and all was well
With him, but for a few confusing flaws
In divers of God’s images. Because
A friend of his would neither buy nor sell,
Was he to answer for the axe that fell?
He pondered; and the reason for it was,
Partly, a slowly freezing Santa Claus
Upon the corner, with his beard and bell.

Acknowledging an improvident surprise,
He magnified a fancy that he wished
The friend whom he had wrecked were here again.
Not sure of that, he found a compromise;
And from the fulness of his heart he fished
A dime for Jesus who had died for men.

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


  1. Emily says:

    This is a Petrachan sonnet with multiple examples of the technique of enjambment. Except for irregularities in lines 1, 7, and 9, its meter is iambic pentameter. But one can read and thoroughly enjoy the poem without being aware of any of these things.

  2. Richard says:

    For 30 years I have read this poem at Christmas. I love the irony and it hits home to my heart, reminding me that fishing a dime for Jesus is entirely insufficient service required by Him. It is becoming more ironic every year as the Salvation Army bellringers are being squeezed from storefronts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.