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Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

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Richard Cory

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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127 person liked.
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Comments about this poem (Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson )

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  • 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 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

  • Rookie Himaya Marinas (2/18/2009 9:10:00 PM)

    The external appearance doesn't justify internal in flame.This is our weakness sometimes we judge a person base on the outside. I admired Richard Cory for being an expert in hiding his agony.Though he was not brave enough to fight the sorrow.This poem taugh us....we want to live in a fancy life....Sometimes we forgot the most important one....love yourself....If you know, then, you know how to love someone else.That make a person a conquerer of heavenly happiness.Which Richard Cory doesn't have. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 221 Points John Shea (2/18/2009 7:23:00 PM)

    noone ever mentioned the fact that perhaps he went home and found out his old lady was having an affair and the result was he could not deal with the pain and was the dapper dan with no upper hand. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anthony Foster (2/18/2009 6:12:00 PM)

    He had everything yet lilled himself. Happiness comes from within. You cant buy it you have to work to understand it and help as many as you can along the way. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (2/18/2009 5:15:00 PM)

    A socialist rant from Edwin Arlington Robinson? Don't you love the smirk on Straw's mug as he explicates what he thinks is the poet's view about a man in the New England village by the name of Richard Cory? Do we not envy the mortal who seems to possess all the attributes we most desire? Think John F. Kennedy and Camelot! Or think of the elitist Barack Obama and his descent from on high to bestow his graces on you and me! Look around you, Kevin Straw, see all those sycophants in line begging favors! Don't push, I was here before you! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Helena Monica Oliva (1/13/2009 6:11:00 AM)

    -> weee.
    ->this poem is one of my favorite.
    ->it wants us to always remember that we should not judge other peole when we dont know them at all.

    .mikamarc (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Susan Jacobs (11/13/2008 6:50:00 PM)

    I love this poem very much because it has reminded me just how wrong we as humans can be about others. It is my opinion that Richard Cory killed himself because of the townspeople. Their apparent 'awe' of him caused them to be somewhat standoffish and insular and this transcended to Cory. As a result, he felt he had no other option than to end his life.

    It behooves us as humans to remember that in admiring someone, we can actually push them away when we don't treat them as one of us. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marc Gerecke (9/4/2008 9:31:00 PM)

    Richard Cory’s is the narcissist’s story- the “shadow”—or “bad side”(character flaws, etc) , is that which the narcissist can not claim, as it endangers the ‘perfection’ he feels he must represent not only to others, but to himself, in order to be “acceptable”
    This keeps him not only emotionally immature, but half a person, as it is the “getting to know oneself” implicit in one’s acceptance of his whole self, flaws and all, which not only tempers the self by inuring it to the vicissitudes and disappointments of life through enduring the disappointments inherent in looking at one’s flaws honestly and learning to carry on nonetheless-but which enables one to be fit for a real human relationship with others, as with one’s acceptance of his own flaws comes the willingness not only to accept flaws in others, but to integrate those flaws into his assessment and style of relating to them.
    Without having learned to do so, one is forever blind to the (three dimensionality) of others and doomed to eternal disappointment with society and with his relationships, as without having learned to accept the flaws in himself, he is eternally devastated by the lack of perfection in others and in the world around him—as well as separated from others by his inability to relate to their entire self—both good and bad.
    This separation from others and disappointment with them, as well as his need to hide his “unacceptably flawed” nature from them, dooms him to disappointment and loneliness—as well as the constant stress of feeling as though if he were ‘discovered’, he would be rejected.
    Ironically, this is true, as his “perfection” attracts those who need him as one needs a hero, and who would condemn him if they were to find out that he is not the perfect hero he originally portrayed himself to be-setting him up an impossible situation in which he can not truly reach out to others out of fear that he will be discovered, and a stressed rigidity due to his need to hide his true flawed self from the world. Breakdown at some point is almost inevitable, and the “perfect man” can not be seen to break down-death is preferable to the shame of being discovered, and a life doomed to the loneliness of a lack of intimacy in his relationships. (Report) Reply

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