Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Poem for Hill Country: Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Posted by Terry Thornton


Edwin Arlington Robinson, 1869 - 1935, was an American poet. His short Richard Cory paints a wonderful, but sad, word picture and addresses a most important issue. Once you read Richard Cory you will never forget it --- and never again wish to be someone else.

Richard Cory is taken from Robinson's Collected Poems (New York: The Macmillan Company. 1922. Page 82) available at Google Books.

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich -- yes, richer than a king---
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Suggested reading:

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Wikipedia. Click to read.

Robinson, Edwin Arlington. Collected Poems. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1922. At Google Books. Click to read.

1 comment:

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

You may know that Paul Simon, back in the days of Simon and Garfunkel (the 60s) wrote a song based on Robinson's "Richard Cory." Sightly modified, but with the core idea intact.