Thursday, 6 January 2011

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 meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Edwin Arlington Robinson
The poem Richard Cory was suggested as a sequel to my poem Cornered (below) by Susan at Art Spark Theater. Thank you Susan.


  1. Says a lot Gwilym. Never heard of this poet before but the poem is very powerful. Somehow the rhyme helps - I wonder why.

  2. Good morning, Pat.
    Simon & Garfunkel recorded it, but changed the ending. The regularity of the rhyme here shows that Cory was a regular predictable rich guy in the eyes of his townspeople. Maybe he died of boredom? Same thing every day. Family firm, family community, family responsibility. Duty. Duty. Duty. Here, perhaps highlighted the idea of a powerful man's responsibility for those dependable citizens, the loyal townspeople. I expect it finally gets to you.


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