Richard Cory

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson
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 richyes, 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.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Money & Economics, Social Commentaries, Living, Class, Death

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Persona

 Edwin  Arlington Robinson

Biography

“One of the most prolific major American poets of the twentieth century, Edwin Arlington Robinson is, ironically, best remembered for only a handful of short poems,” stated Robert Gilbert in the Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography. Fellow writer Amy Lowell declared in the New York Times Book Review, “Edwin Arlington Robinson is poetry. I can think of no other living writer who has so consistently dedicated his life . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Money & Economics, Social Commentaries, Living, Class, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Persona

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.