“Miniver Cheevy” is the title of a semi-autobiographical poem by Edward Arlington Robinson.
I first read the poem, and took a liking to it, in high school. The image of the suffering romantic poet spoke to my adolescent sensibilities. Around the same time, I joined a BBS: direct dialup to a computer in someone's basement. (Oh yeah, I'm online old skool: I remember when FidoNet was cutting edge.)
So I needed a login ID. The ideal login ID is short, unique, distinctive, easy to remember, hard to misspell, and says something about your temperament, which makes “miniver” pretty much ideal. I've used it for dozens of systems since then, though not so much lately.
When I finally broke down and decided to write a blog, I realized that it fits in perfectly with the prevailing style of distinctive names in blogistan, so I brought it out of retirement.
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 mediæval 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.
By Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935), from The Town Down the River, 1910
The Modern American Poetry site provides a collection of analysis of the poem.