By Weldon Kees 1914–1955 Weldon Kees
The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.
His act is over. The world is a gray world,
Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano,   
The nightmare chase well under way.

The mirror from Mexico, stuck to the wall,   
Reflects nothing at all. The glass is black.   
Robinson alone provides the image Robinsonian.

Which is all of the room—walls, curtains,
Shelves, bed, the tinted photograph of Robinson’s first wife,   
Rugs, vases, panatellas in a humidor.
They would fill the room if Robinson came in.

The pages in the books are blank,
The books that Robinson has read. That is his favorite chair,   
Or where the chair would be if Robinson were here.

All day the phone rings. It could be Robinson   
Calling. It never rings when he is here.

Outside, white buildings yellow in the sun.   
Outside, the birds circle continuously   
Where trees are actual and take no holiday.

Weldon Kees, "Robinson" from The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees edited by Donald Justice by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1962, 1975, by the University of Nebraska Press. © renewed 2003 by the University of Nebraska Press.

Source: The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees (2003)


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Poet Weldon Kees 1914–1955

Subjects Home Life, Relationships

Poetic Terms Persona