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,
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Comments about Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • Rookie Sarah Fetzer (2/18/2010 12:11:00 PM)

    I love these named poems from E.A. Robinson that were inspired by tombstones. (This is just one of a set) . They are great interesting little reads often with a dark twist. (Report) Reply

    9 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Aaliyah Islaam (2/18/2010 6:10:00 AM)

    I actually think this poem is really good. It really shows how people percieve others and how we percieve ourselves.

    And how some people may seem fine on the outside but we cannot see what is within. This man Richard Cory needed some help, but nobody saw that they just saw the outside.

    It's a sad poem, but it happens every day. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (2/18/2010 5:48:00 AM)

    What a horrible poem. What is its message? That some people who seem OK on the outside have problems within? That is typical of many people from high to low. This poem invites the schadenfreude of commenters who love to see people of intellectual and moral stature brought down. It is the anthem of those who are plagued with the tall poppy sydrome. It does not invite compassion or understanding but derision and a brutish satisfaction in the fall of anyone who dares raise his head above the level of the mob. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 192 Points Joseph Poewhit (2/18/2010 4:54:00 AM)

    Great poem for our time. An outward appearance and the inner calamity of disheavaled inner turmoil. Rigidity of life style, elevated social status, finelly breaking like a balloon overblown. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 956 Points Indira Renganathan (2/18/2010 2:44:00 AM)

    Who knows the secret reason now...I guess, may be poverty or guilt or shame..but Richard Cory knew why he flutterd pulses when he said,
    'Good Morning! ' and he glittered when he walked....the perturbed mind needn't have shot dead itself.... the poem is good to read for its writing though sorrow for its content (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (2/18/2010 2:21:00 AM)

    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    'Good Morning! ' and he glittered when he walked.

    Does this imply a closet alcoholic or drug addict, in advanced cases they are often thin and 'imperially slim' is not the typical size of the rich in adulthood. It explains the ‘glittered’ as drug euphoria. Arlington after several years of poverty was better attired when fame and fortune came, and turned to drink again in his last years, in a claimed protest against Prohibition. Sounds like typical alcoholic denial. Born of a rich family that bankrupted with his fathers death, a middle brother who is reported to have died a suicide; all the ingredients for writing this poem are locked in the poet's psyche. As an example, not all the rich on Wall Street jumped at the start of the famous depression. Some shot themselves. The socially privileged are rather famous for suddenly topping themselves, when disaster strikes. A plain straight forward reading, to each reader their own favorite, this will suffice as mine. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 12,941 Points Ramesh T A (2/18/2010 1:35:00 AM)

    Richard Cory tried to equlise his inside and outside without success and hence he suicided unbearably at the end! A straightforward poetic expression by Edwin Arlington Robinson high lights the nature of a noble person very well! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kenya Lawry (2/8/2010 6:10:00 PM)

    I feel this poem is saying never judge a book by it's cover. You never know what a person might be feeling on the inside. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kammy Stephens (2/3/2010 9:25:00 PM)

    To me this poem is about one being at peace with oneself. It doesn't matter how others view you, but how you view yourself. In the poem the town's people describe him a being noble being. They also envied him as well as to think of as a 'king'

    Quotes from the poem:

    ' And he was always human when he talked' - I think this means his words spoke 'life', that he spoke with good nature, passion and feeling.

    'And he was rich- yes richer than a king' - They weren't just talking wealth in pocket, but as in wealth in character, meaning he was respected more than a king or a person of rank was.

    'In fine we thought that he was everything, to makes us wish we were in his place ' -- The town's people thought he had everything of material worth and they admired it so much, that it turned in to jealousy.

    'So we worked and waited for light, and went without meat and cursed the bread' - This to me means that the people worked extra hard, went without and literally cursed(complained about) their meager livings, just to have what Richard Cory had....which were material things.

    'And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head'. --This to me means he had everything he wanted, but didn't like who he was. That everyone made such a big deal about his financial well being, that they looked at him for what he had but not for who he was. He took his life because he felt untouchable, that no one wanted to get to know him and couldn't understand him.....that he was successful on the outside but not inside. He was gorgeous and important on the outside, but he felt ugly and useless in the inside. The concept of this poem is, You may want to live a person's life because it seems perfect to you, but in reality they may be having personal tribulations in side and they just want a way to escape the feeling. You may be successful on the outside but in the inside is really where it matters. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Oby Okpala (1/23/2010 2:54:00 PM)

    You know, I think this poem teaches one to never wish you were someone else. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ogaga Urhie (1/11/2010 7:55:00 PM)

    Christ's life is plausible. However, consider the theme of ambition: what it is; whether it is neutral or with the power to possess good or evil; and its source. Then think to how 'we people on the pavement' took to a person whose skeletons were not on public display. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie C Harr (12/9/2009 12:18:00 PM)

    This poem isn't talking about suicide. The deeper interpretation is about Christ and his life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ian Baliola (11/5/2009 7:41:00 AM)

    •○ •what a beautiful poem•○ •
    showing how suicide can get to people whatever their position in life is! !
    showing how all people are equal
    •○ •And money cant buy true happiness•○ • (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Martha Wisdom (10/27/2009 3:11:00 PM)

    This poem shows that sometimes the most lonely people are the ones at the center of the crowd. this poem touched me with its honesty. suicidal individuals often seem perfectly happy. Even though they are very sad. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 5 Points Devin Robinson (10/23/2009 9:36:00 PM)

    I love surprise endings... this was very shocking (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Paul Sweeney (10/19/2009 2:29:00 PM)

    I first read this poem when I was 15 years old.
    It hit me like a fist in the mouth.
    Not to mix too many metaphors, but it struck a chord somewhere in my psyche & I've never forgotten it.
    Painful as it is, it remains a favorite -and a stark reminder of the perils of hubris. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shara D (9/19/2009 9:49:00 PM)

    this indeed shows, this life has a lot of faces. one must really by sensitive to the needs of other beings so as to be able to hear what the heart was saying despite the absence of words. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dylan Oppedahl (7/14/2009 2:01:00 PM)

    This was easily one of the best poems i have ever read, just because of the end. I think my heart missed a beat (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Wispe Decoteau (6/22/2009 9:31:00 AM)

    poems makes me wonder what u dont know about a person. i can say this is one of my favs. it helps u to understand that saying. 'never jugde a book by its cover.' who wod have thought 'Richard wod kill him self.' SHOCKER (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kassie Ali (4/10/2009 9:03:00 AM)

    my english teacher made this poem a class assignment yesterday, I liked the irony, and the story line was lovely and all, but this poem did cause a bit of heat in the classroom. People were sharing their knowledge of other people that had commited suicide, so I trust you can understand my dicomfort. The poem, Richard Cory, made me feel sad. (Report) Reply

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