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Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
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.
Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in Alna in 1869 and lived most of his life in Gardiner. He won three Pulitzer Prizes for poetry and is one of the most widely read American poets of all time. “Richard Cory,” one of his best-known poems, is from the collection “The Children of the Night.” He died April 6,1935.
The Web address for viewing Uni-Verse poems online has changed temporarily while the BDN’s website is reconfigured. To see this and other recent Uni-Verse poems, go to www.dwildepress.net/uni-verse.