Aspects of Robinson

By Weldon Kees 1914–1955 Weldon Kees
Robinson at cards at the Algonquin; a thin
Blue light comes down once more outside the blinds.   
Gray men in overcoats are ghosts blown past the door.   
The taxis streak the avenues with yellow, orange, and red.   
This is Grand Central, Mr. Robinson.

Robinson on a roof above the Heights; the boats
Mourn like the lost. Water is slate, far down.
Through sounds of ice cubes dropped in glass, an osteopath,   
Dressed for the links, describes an old Intourist tour.   
—Here’s where old Gibbons jumped from, Robinson.

Robinson walking in the Park, admiring the elephant.   
Robinson buying the Tribune, Robinson buying the Times. Robinson
Saying, “Hello. Yes, this is Robinson. Sunday
At five? I’d love to. Pretty well. And you?”
Robinson alone at Longchamps, staring at the wall.

Robinson afraid, drunk, sobbing Robinson
In bed with a Mrs. Morse. Robinson at home;
Decisions: Toynbee or luminol? Where the sun
Shines, Robinson in flowered trunks, eyes toward
The breakers. Where the night ends, Robinson in East Side bars.

Robinson in Glen plaid jacket, Scotch-grain shoes,   
Black four-in-hand and oxford button-down,
The jeweled and silent watch that winds itself, the brief-
Case, covert topcoat, clothes for spring, all covering   
His sad and usual heart, dry as a winter leaf.

Weldon Kees, "Aspects of 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 Midlife, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Persona

 Weldon  Kees

Biography

Weldon Kees was born in Beatrice, Nebraska and attended Doane College, the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska, earning his degree in 1935. In addition to writing, Kees was passionate about painting and throughout his life created many forms of art including experimental films. In 1955 Kees took his sleeping bag and his savings account book and disappeared, leaving his car on the Golden Gate Bridge. It is not . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Midlife, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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