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Miniver Cheevy

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by

Cassie Mills

on 2 May 2011

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Transcript of Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy Denotative meaning Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.


Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.


Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam's neighbors.


Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.


Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.


Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediaeval grace
Of iron clothing.


Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.


Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.


Miniver Cheevy Connotative Meaning Structute and Form Sound Devices Stylistic Devices Overall themes Overall Reaction By Edwin Arlington Robinson Miniver is the name of a white or gray fur used in earlier times to trim the ceremonial robes of royals and nobles (Cummings)

Miniver wants to be a knight or king. The whole poem is describing his wish to be alive during the middle ages but lived in to late of a time. Cummings, Michael J. Miniver Cheevy. Ed. Michael J. Cummings. 2008. 20 Apr. 2011
<http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides2/miniver.html>.

Hatzigeorgiou, Karen J. Medieval Knight Costume :: Image 1. karenswhimsy.com
http://karenswhimsy.com/medieval-knight-costume.shtm. By Karen J. Hatzigeorgiou. N.p.:
karenswhimsy.com, 2011.

Pigal, Edme J. You are Fine. 1st-art-gallery.com. http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/(after)-Pigal,-Edme-
Jean/You-Are-Fine,-Depiction-Of-The-Poor-Mans-Doctor,-Engraved-By-Langlume-Fl.1822- 24-
1825.html. By Langlume. 1st-art-gallery.com: 1st-art-gallery.com, 2011.

TAYLER, F. A WILD BOAR HUNT. JULIE’S ANTIQUE PRINTS.
http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/scans/scans149.htm. By Julie. N.p.: JULIE’S ANTIQUE
PRINTS, 2011. Works Cited Cheevy resembles words derived from the French noun cheval (horse) to identify gallant knights (chevaliers) and their code of honor (chivalry). The name of game lands near the border of Scotland and England was Chevy Chase (or Chace) to refer to hunts there by nobles on horseback... Miniver Cheevy can also be a coinage derived from the term minimum achiever, a label that sums up Mr. Cheevy’s meager abilities in the modern workaday world. (Cummings)

Miniver is fascinated with the days of knights and medieval life which included horses and chivalry. Obviously if he is as obsessed with the whole medieval life he is probably ill adjusted to modern the modern world. Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediaeval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

He was an unwanted child.
As he got older he grew skinny.
He was sad that he was even born (suicidal).
He believes that his unhappiness is justifiable.

He loved the medieval ages.
When there were swords and prancing horses
The idea of a bold warrior or knight.
The above idea would make him so happy he would dance.

He was sad with what he was not.
He was lazy and daydreamed instead of working.
He dreamed about living in the time of Alexander the Great.
And the King of Troy and its neighbors.

He was sad about long lasting reputations.
That made so many other people so enviable.
He also mourned the fall of Rome and that he was now dependant on the charity the city.
And art is a vagrant

He loved the Medici family who were a powerful family that ruled Florence, Italy during most of the Renaissance as well as into the 18th century.
Though he had never seen one as he was born to late.
He would have constantly sinned
if he could have been a Medici.

He hated being average
And hated khaki suits which represented modern military uniforms
He missed the grace of the middle ages
and metal armour

He doesn't like having to work for money.
But he doesn't like being poor.
He pondered what to do about his situation.
And thought some more.

He was born too late
He contiued to think
He coughed and decided it was his fate
and continued to drink his time away Original My Interpretation "The structure of "Miniver Cheevy" is neatly symmetrical, containing eight four-line stanzas (quatrains). The first and third lines of each stanza have masculine end rhyme, and the second and fourth lines have feminine end rhyme.
Robinson begins the first line of each stanza with Miniver and the third line of each stanza with either he or Miniver. He also lengthens the second line of each stanza and shortens the last line of each stanza, enabling him to present the long and the short of Miniver's misery.
In addition, he rhetorically parallels the openings of the second, third, and fourth stanzas with the openings of the fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas. The opening line of the eighth stanza then rhetorically parallels the opening line of the first stanza." (Cummings)

The beginning of each stanza is describing how Miniver feels or thinks of something. The poem is metrical. The rhyme scheme is as mentioned above. The line length and stanza pattern contributes to the meaning as explained above. The sound devices are as follows:
assonance- every first and third line rhyme with each other and every second and fourth line rhyme with each other.
diction- the writer chose words that help the reader to feel how Miniver is feeling when he is thinking about his situation. Also gives the reader an idea of what things look like from Miniver's point of view.
word choice-Robinson chose words that are reminiscent of knights and medieval times.

These give the poem a smoother flow to it. It begins with Miniver's disliking being born and ends with him drinking away his life. The whole poem has a somber tone as a result. The meaning of the poem is possibly Robinson's feelings of himself that he portrayed in his character. Robinson felt similar experiences about life as Miniver. He could be saying how he feels about his life in a more concealed way through his poetry. Stylistic Devices:

metaphor- the first line could be a metaphor for Robinson's childhood. His mother " wanted a girl" (Cummings).
apostrophe- Robinson refers to art as "a vagrant" being kicked out on the streets
symbol- the khaki suit represents having to work for the modern culture, the gold he sought represents having to work for a living
allegory- the Medici represent medieval life that Miniver admires so much
imagery- the horses and swords are described as prancing and shining, this make the reader feel as though they can actually see the image that Miniver loves so much
motif- middle ages
paradox- Miniver calls his not being rich and of the medieval ages fate while it is probably his drinking and dislike of hard work that keeps him from achieving more. The overall themes are escaping reality and rationalization.

Miniver withdraws from the world by dreaming of olden days and drinking away his problems. He abnormally dwells on the past and thinks about it constantly. In reality by dwelling on the past so much he is also missing the great things of the present.

He also justifies his problems as fate. That his not being wealthy or born in the middle ages is not his fault and there is nothing he can really do about it. Though the fact that he is drinking away his problems may actually be the root of those problems. Overall I like this poem a little. It was not hard to understand but was kind of weird at the same time. I liked that the poem mentioned horses in it. I disliked that the guy just drinks away his problems in the end. (Hatzigeorgiou 2011) (TAYLER 2011) (Pigal 2011)
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