Villanelle of Change

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson
Since Persia fell at Marathon,
      The yellow years have gathered fast:
Long centuries have come and gone.

And yet (they say) the place will don
      A phantom fury of the past,
Since Persia fell at Marathon;

And as of old, when Helicon
      Trembled and swayed with rapture vast
(Long centuries have come and gone),

This ancient plain, when night comes on,
      Shakes to a ghostly battle-blast,
Since Persia fell at Marathon.

But into soundless Acheron
      The glory of Greek shame was cast:
Long centuries have come and gone,

The suns of Hellas have all shone,
      The first has fallen to the last:—
Since Persia fell at Marathon,
Long centuries have come and gone.

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Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Villanelle

 Edwin  Arlington Robinson

Biography

“One of the most prolific major American poets of the twentieth century, Edwin Arlington Robinson is, ironically, best remembered for only a handful of short poems,” stated Robert Gilbert in the Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography. Fellow writer Amy Lowell declared in the New York Times Book Review, “Edwin Arlington Robinson is poetry. I can think of no other living writer who has so consistently dedicated his life . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Villanelle

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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