(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

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.

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Other poems of ROBINSON (174)

Comments (109)

I taught this poem in high school and I still like it very much. Richard Cory's suicide seems at odds with the precise rhymes and meter. Where people are concerned, appearances can be deceptive.
Shake me wake
My father, When mom left, he said one day that he would do it. In life, dad always kept his word.
I read this poem in junior high school in the early '60's. I rediscovered it when Simon and Garfunkel put it to music; I'm not sure which album, but it's certainly worth listening to.
I never forgot reading this poem when I was in High School,1958, thereabouts. The message remained with me, although I could not remember the author nor poem title. Yesterday, I heard Evangelist Begg recite ' Richard Cory'. Amazing.
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