It may have been the pride in me for aught
I know, or just a patronizing whim;
But call it freak of fancy, or what not,
I cannot hide the hungry face of him.

I keep a scant half-dozen words he said,
And every now and then I lose his name;
He may be living or he may be dead,
But I must have him with me all the same.

I knew it and I knew it all along,–
And felt it once or twice, or thought I did;
But only as a glad man feels a song
That sounds around a stranger’s coffin lid.

I knew it, and he knew it, I believe,
But silence held us alien to the end;
And I have now no magic to retrieve
That year, to stop that hunger for a friend.

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

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Wade Wilson says:

    Edwin Arlington Robinson used this poem to communicate the difficulties of affiliation between different social groups. In the first stanza, he recollects that it was his pride that seperated him and the person he speaks of. His reference to the mans hunger indicates the social status of the man he is remembering. In the second stanza, there is evidence of a brief encouter with the two men, and the poet cannot get him off his mind. The man the poet was talking to was in need of food and money, but the poet’s pride and status kept him from commiting to help the struggling individual. In the last stanza, he regets not doing more for this man. What is interesting is that he hardly knew the man, but by the end of the poem, he was calling him friend. This is because the poet saw much of himself in the unfortunate and needy person he had met.

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