Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

Richard Cory - Poem by 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 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.


Comments about Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • Nalini Krishnan (7/28/2016 3:42:00 AM)


    Very poignantly depicts how we make wrong assumptions about people (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Polina Sidorov (6/10/2016 9:21:00 AM)


    Haha, we read it his one in English class (Report) Reply

  • Vivek Kumar Vivek Kumar (4/25/2016 1:08:00 AM)


    wow.. it is an awesome poem.. (Report) Reply

  • Ella Rose Ella Rose (4/19/2016 8:59:00 PM)


    wow...very powerful words here..great job :) -EllaRose (Report) Reply

  • Lucy Lord (2/26/2016 2:59:00 AM)


    The most basic message of this beautiful work is that money does not always equal happiness, or even satisfaction. Read this good: sometimes, but not always. Never always. (Report) Reply

  • Natalie Rosen (11/21/2015 10:36:00 AM)


    One of the great poems for its description of all that glitters is not gold. We think those we often meet have it all and in truth few do. Even the Trumps of the world have hidden insecure darkness about which they over compensate. (Report) Reply

  • Vaidyanathan Ram Iyer (10/11/2015 10:11:00 PM)

    Report mid=5641050
    I think, Richard Cory was mentally upset, since he was not in position to be outspokeken with anyone. Already Reported Reply

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (9/19/2015 4:56:00 AM)


    I wonder what prompted such a good man forced to commit suicide......A wonderful poem (Report) Reply

  • Soumita Sarkar Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 9:25:00 AM)


    The show of emotions..how terrifying....all sins we human must commit to keep us sailing.....otherwise a sheltered life is destined to end this way...liked this..we can find many such personages with such good facade (Report) Reply

    Vaidyanathan Ram Iyer (10/11/2015 10:32:00 PM)

    Since Richard core is well reputed in the society, he could be lonely, therefore he had no one loving
    him, only to his richness, so he was not in position to speak his problem to anyone, that made him to suicide, of course its nature in society, but it should not happen to anyone.

  • Switch Fields (8/27/2015 5:45:00 PM)


    This poem has stuck with me for more than 35 years. I was thinking of today, and came here to read it, because I finally understand the poem.

    From the outside looking in, his life is a complete success by any objective standard... happy, wealthy, appears in good physical, possesses all of the necessities and reasonable luxuries of life. To everyone, he is the successful Richard Cory.

    But he is just dying on the inside. He feels hopelessness and despair. He feels isolated and alone. I cannot talk to anyone because, of course, they are expecting him to be Richard Cory. He could not possibly walk up to someone and say, I am not okay. I am not alright, because that is not in keeping with his character and stature and responsibilities, and perhaps the stifling expectations heaped upon him. Richard Cory is always suppose to be okay. In fact, he has no legitimate reason to feel otherwise. But he does. And after days and weeks and perhaps years, he finds this condition unbearable.

    The poem is a cautionary tale and a reminder that we need to be sympathetic and understanding and outreaching with our fellow human beings. The face that one holds up to the world may not be what he or she actually feels inside, and sometimes, the conditions and circumstances of one's life will isolate him from even loved ones and those closest to him. So ask, genuinely listen, and empathize. Someone close to you, even someone who appears to be fine, might need you today. (Report) Reply

    Soumita Sarkar Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 9:23:00 AM)

    Mr Fields...so passionately you have grown to understand and make us learn a lesson that this silent poem has to offer..liked it so much thanks.

  • Sofia Kioroglou Sofia Kioroglou (8/14/2015 5:57:00 AM)


    An exquisite piece of poetry! I was really awed while reading it! (Report) Reply

  • Mazda Rahimi Mazda Rahimi (7/2/2015 7:19:00 AM)


    I love it, This is absolutely spectacular (Report) Reply

  • Angel Clark (6/25/2015 11:51:00 PM)


    I love it 😍😩😩 (Report) Reply

  • Herbert Guitang Herbert Guitang (6/15/2015 1:43:00 AM)


    Like a wave-flowing poem. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Walker (1/31/2015 5:55:00 PM)


    I taught this poem in high schools. I like the stanza form, rhymes, one of the town's people speaking (persona)
    and the surprise ending. The themes of envy and deceptive appearances are genuine. (Report) Reply

  • Shimitu Kouta (7/3/2014 12:14:00 AM)


    This poem reminds of my one freind, Akira. (Report) Reply

    Max Abadilla (10/22/2015 9:54:00 PM)

    Asa Akira? ?

  • * Sunprincess * (6/17/2014 9:56:00 PM)


    .............I feel he made the wrong choice in life...he would have been a happy man..... if he would have shared his wealth with everyone in town.....contributed to charities.....built a boys and girls club.....a new library, hospital and church....anything to help others, would have helped him to lead a fulfilling life.... (Report) Reply

  • Mima Walid (6/16/2014 6:08:00 PM)


    It's one of my best poems i've read til now, it teaches us a valuable lesson that appearences should never matter. (Report) Reply

  • Herbert Guitang Herbert Guitang (4/25/2014 8:26:00 AM)


    This poem is so memorable and immortal. Highly appraised (Report) Reply

  • Nika Mcguin Nika Mcguin (2/18/2014 6:58:00 PM)


    I remember reading this in highschool, Its nice to find it again on this site. I love a poem that leaves impact on your memory like this. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: summer, people, home, light, night, school, work



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Monday, May 21, 2012


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