Dear Friends (1896) by Edwin Arlington Robinson

by on Apr 4, 2016

Dear friends, reproach me not for what I do.
Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor say
That I am wearing half my life away
For bubble-work that only fools pursue.
And if my bubbles be too small for you,
Blow bigger then your own: — the games we play
To fill the frittered minutes of a day,
Good glasses are to read the spirit through.

And whoso reads may get him some shrewd skill;
And some unprofitable scorn resign.
To praise the very thing that he deplores: —
So friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,
The shame I win for singing is all mine,
The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.


Edwin Arlington Robinson, a triple Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, experienced childhood tribulations and adulthood unrequited love — which may have contributed to the somber (if not pessimistic) tone of many of his poems and stories (like “Richard Cory”). “Dear Friends” departs somewhat from that characterization of his works. Written more than a century ago, “Dear Friends” is applicable to present-day creatives who can’t resist the lure of the fanciful, the imaginative, the magical pursuit of unique bubbles to add sparkle to daily lives – while not denying others their own individual opportunities for the prize inside a Cracker Jack box.

—Patrick G. Metoyer


When he is not engaged in visual arts, Colorado resident Patrick G. Metoyer enjoys reciting and performing his creative writings. His poetry and prose in the past few years have been featured in Grand Valley Magazine. Several ekphrastic poems are online: