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Best Famous Richard Wilbur Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Richard Wilbur poems. This is a select list of the best famous Richard Wilbur poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Richard Wilbur poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Richard Wilbur poems.

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by Richard Wilbur |

To the Etruscan Poets

 Dream fluently, still brothers, who when young
Took with your mother's milk the mother tongue,

In which pure matrix, joining world and mind,
You strove to leave some line of verse behind

Like still fresh tracks across a field of snow,
Not reckoning that all could melt and go.


by Richard Wilbur |

Praise In Summer

 Obscurely yet most surely called to praise,
As sometimes summer calls us all, I said
The hills are heavens full of branching ways
Where star-nosed moles fly overhead the dead;
I said the trees are mines in air, I said
See how the sparrow burrows in the sky!
And then I wondered why this mad instead
Perverts our praise to uncreation, why
Such savour's in this wrenching things awry.
Does sense so stale that it must needs derange The world to know it? To a praiseful eye Should it not be enough of fresh and strange That trees grow green, and moles can course in clay, And sparrows sweep the ceiling of our day?


by Richard Wilbur |

A Fire-Truck

 Right down the shocked street with a
 siren-blast
That sends all else skittering to the
 curb,
Redness, brass, ladders and hats hurl
 past,
 Blurring to sheer verb,

Shift at the corner into uproarious gear
And make it around the turn in a squall
 of traction,
The headlong bell maintaining sure and
 clear,
 Thought is degraded action!

Beautiful, heavy, unweary, loud,
 obvious thing!
I stand here purged of nuance, my
 mind a blank.
All I was brooding upon has taken wing, And I have you to thank.
As you howl beyond hearing I carry you into my mind, Ladders and brass and all, there to admire Your phoenix-red simplicity, enshrined In that not extinguished fire.


by Richard Wilbur |

A Hole In The Floor

 for Rene Magritte

The carpenter's made a hole
In the parlor floor, and I'm standing
Staring down into it now
At four o'clock in the evening,
As Schliemann stood when his shovel
Knocked on the crowns of Troy.
A clean-cut sawdust sparkles On the grey, shaggy laths, And here is a cluster of shavings >From the time when the floor was laid.
They are silvery-gold, the color Of Hesperian apple-parings.
Kneeling, I look in under Where the joists go into hiding.
A pure street, faintly littered With bits and strokes of light, Enters the long darkness Where its parallels will meet.
The radiator-pipe Rises in middle distance Like a shuttered kiosk, standing Where the only news is night.
Here's it's not painted green, As it is in the visible world.
For God's sake, what am I after? Some treasure, or tiny garden? Or that untrodden place, The house's very soul, Where time has stored our footbeats And the long skein of our voices? Not these, but the buried strangeness Which nourishes the known: That spring from which the floor-lamp Drinks now a wilder bloom, Inflaming the damask love-seat And the whole dangerous room.


by Richard Wilbur |

Boy at the Window

 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.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes Returns him such a God-forsaken stare As outcast Adam gave to paradise.
The man of snow is, nonetheless, content, Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element, He melts enough to drop from one soft eye A trickle of the purest rain, a tear For the child at the bright pane surrounded by Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.


by Richard Wilbur |

Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World

 The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded
 soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and
 simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window The morning air is all awash with angels.
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses, Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing; Now they are flying in place, conveying The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving And staying like white water; and now of a sudden They swoon down in so rapt a quiet That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks From all that it is about to remember, From the punctual rape of every blessed day, And cries, "Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry, Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.
" Yet, as the sun acknowledges With a warm look the world's hunks and colors, The soul descends once more in bitter love To accept the waking body, saying now In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises, "Bring them down from their ruddy gallows; Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves; Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone, And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating Of dark habits, keeping their difficult balance.
"


by Richard Wilbur |

For K.R. on her Sixtieth Birthday

 Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark, Who round with grace this dusky arc Of the grand tour which souls must take.
You who have sounded William Blake, And the still pool, to Plato's mark, Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark.
Yet, for your friends' benighted sake, Detain your upward-flying spark; Get us that wish, though like the lark You whet your wings till dawn shall break: Blow out the candles of your cake.


by Richard Wilbur |

A Plain Song For Comadre

 Though the unseen may vanish, though insight
 fails
And doubter and downcast saint
Join in the same complaint,
What holy things were ever frightened off
By a fly's buzz, or itches, or a cough?
Harder than nails

They are, more warmly constant than the sun,
At whose continual sign
The dimly prompted vine
Upbraids itself to a green excellence.
What evening, when the slow and forced expense Of sweat is done, Does not the dark come flooding the straight furrow Or filling the well-made bowl? What night will not the whole Sky with its clear studs and steady spheres Turn on a sound chimney? It is seventeen years Come tomorrow That Bruna Sandoval has kept the church Of San Ysidro, sweeping And scrubbing the aisles, keeping The candlesticks and the plaster faces bright, And seen no visions but the thing done right >From the clay porch To the white altar.
For love and in all weathers This is what she has done.
Sometimes the early sun Shines as she flings the scrubwater out, with a crash Of grimy rainbows, and the stained studs flash Like angel-feathers.


by Richard Wilbur |

Wedding Toast

 St.
John tells how, at Cana's wedding feast, The water-pots poured wine in such amount That by his sober count There were a hundred gallons at the least.
It made no earthly sense, unless to show How whatsoever love elects to bless Brims to a sweet excess That can without depletion overflow.
Which is to say that what love sees is true; That this world's fullness is not made but found.
Life hungers to abound And pour its plenty out for such as you.
Now, if your loves will lend an ear to mine, I toast you both, good son and dear new daughter.
May you not lack for water, And may that water smack of Cana's wine.


by Richard Wilbur |

The Beautiful Changes

 One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides 
The Queen Anne's Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns 
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of
 you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.
The beautiful changes as a forest is changed By a chameleon's tuning his skin to it; As a mantis, arranged On a green leaf, grows Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.
Your hands hold roses always in a way that says They are not only yours; the beautiful changes In such kind ways, Wishing ever to sunder Things and things' selves for a second finding, to lose For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.