Richard Wilbur Poems

Richard Wilbur was born in 1921 in New York City. He is considered one of the most important poets of the 20th century. He was also named the second poet laureate of the United States. During his lifetime, he received numerous honors, for example, the National Book Award for Things of This World: Poems. 

Cottage Street, 1953

by Richard Wilbur

‘Cottage Street, 1953’ by Richard Wilbur is a powerful poem based on the poet’s own experience. It depicts a simple social meeting between his family and the Plaths.

This is a wonderful Richard Wilbur poem that is confessional in nature, which is based on the poet's experiences. It is also a narrative poem that tells a story, one that is rich in allusion. The poet mentions Sylvia Plath, her mother, and two members of his own family, describing briefly how everyone interacts.

Framed in her phoenix fire-screen, Edna Ward

Bends to the tray of Canton, pouring tea

For frightened Mrs. Plath; then, turning toward

The pale, slumped daughter, and my wife, and me.

Boy at the Window

by Richard Wilbur

‘Boy at the Window’ by Richard Wilbur is a short poem exploring an interaction between a boy and a snowman. Through this interaction, an omniscient persona reveals the meaning of childhood innocence and the power of empathy.

This poem is one of Wilbur's more popular poems. It is a signature poem in the sense of keeping Wilbur's familiar rhythm and theme of contrasting ideas. Richard Wilbur rendered a reading of this poem in his earlier days, thereby making it more memorable than most of his work.

Seeing the snowman standing all alone

In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.

The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare

A night of gnashings and enormous moan.

A Late Aubade

by Richard Wilbur

‘A Late Aubade’ by Richard Wilbur is an ironic poem that enthralls readers from the very title itself. It is a modern poem taping in the form of aubade or a morning song.

Explore more poems from Richard Wilbur

The Writer

by Richard Wilbur

‘The Writer’ by Richard Wilbur depicts a father watching his daughter create her first piece of writing. The poet uses clever and creative examples of figurative language in order to depict the struggle new and experienced writers go through. 

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