Richard Wilbur

(March 1, 1921)

Quotations

  • ''As near and far as grass,
    Where eyes become the sunlight, and the hand
    Is worthy of water: the dreamt land
    Toward which all hungers leap, all pleasures pass.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra (l. 56-60). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
    33 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • ''—the main jet
    Struggling aloft unti it seems at rest

    In the act of rising, until
    The very wish of water is reversed,''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra (l. 31-34). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''A barn shall harbour heaven,
    A stall become a shrine.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Christmas Hymn (l. 7-8). . . Oxford Book of Christmas Poems, The. Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark, eds. (1983) Oxford University Press.
  • ''And every stone shall cry,
    In praises of the child
    By whose descent among us
    The worlds are reconciled.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Christmas Hymn (l. 29-32). . . Oxford Book of Christmas Poems, The. Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark, eds. (1983) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Ask us, ask us whether with the worldless rose
    Our hearts shall fail us; come demanding
    Whether there shall be lofty or long standing
    When the bronze annals of the oak-tree close.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. Advice to a Prophet (l. 33-36). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J. Enright, comp. (1980) Oxford University Press.
  • ''What should we be without
    The dolphin's arc, the dove's return,

    These things in which we have seen ourselves and spoken?''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. Advice to a Prophet (l. 23-25). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J. Enright, comp. (1980) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Nor shall you scare us with talk of the
    death of the race.
    How should we dream of this place without us?—
    The sun mere fire, the leaves untroubled about us,
    A stone look on the stone's face?''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. Advice to a Prophet (l. 9-12). . . Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse, The, 1945-1980. D. J. Enright, comp. (1980) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Oh none too soon through the air white and dry
    Will the clear announcer's voice
    Beat like a dove, and you and I

    From the heart's anarch and responsible town
    Return by subway-mouth to life again,
    Bearing the morning papers,''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. After the Last Bulletins (l. 22-27). . . Modern American Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (8th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''I am a sort of martyr, as you see,
    A horizontal monument to patience.
    The calves of waitresses parade about
    My helpless head upon this sodden floor.
    Well, I am down again, but not yet out.
    O sweet frustrations, I shall be back for more.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Voice from under the Table (l. 43-48). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''All true enough: and true as well that she
    Was beautiful, and danced, and is now dead.''
    Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), U.S. poet. A Voice from under the Table (l. 31-32). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.

Read more quotations »

Advice to a Prophet

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city,
Mad-eyed from stating the obvious,
Not proclaiming our fall but begging us
In God's name to have self-pity,

Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range,
The long numbers that rocket the mind;
Our slow, unreckoning hearts will be left behind,
Unable to fear what is too strange.

[Hata Bildir]