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

  • 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

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Helena Monica Oliva (1/13/2009 6:12:00 AM)

    -> hope we understand what other peoples feelings too. (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Weldon Winn (1/9/2008 8:13:00 PM)

    Well gee, Torie lets see if I can put it in terms you might understand. Richard Cory (you might want to substitue a name like Britney Spears) was someone people envied because he was rich & famous. But he was also unfufilled and unhappy so he killed himself. (Britney will probably follow suit intentionally or not.)
    Get it now? (Report) Reply

  • Torie Liles (10/25/2007 12:48:00 PM)

    i dint understand what he was talking abou in this poem

    will someone please explain it to me (Report) Reply

  • Barb Barker (6/3/2007 2:24:00 PM)

    We have read this poem and think that as one does look at the different stages of life, that a teenager would find it so easy to say and do the easy way out, by ending their life, as indicated in this poem, being its so easy to hide behind being too good for his own good and no one seeing that a problem does exist inside, that is being hidden away from everyone, as that false face only shows a false person, hiding out..We find that he has no shadow, this person in the poem and maybe he is saying that with life there is going to be death, that comes to us all but the sad thing is he is not letting anyone see the real him but exits this world before anyone gets to know the him inside..This is how we feel about it anyway, and his shadow is out there waiting for him to claim it... (Report) Reply

  • John Smith (5/14/2007 4:11:00 PM)

    Richard, I believe, surrounds himself with lower class people because he does have low self-esteem. His piers (upper class) see Richard as quite ordinary. The lower class, however, admires him for his wealth and education. That what draws him to be 'human' to them because he seeks their attention, approval and friendship. These people, however admire him, but they do not love him. They don't feel they are good enough to be with him or question his motivations for wanting to be with them. As a consequence, Richard sees himself as an outsider to both upper AND lower class. A man ouside of society and alone, and his lonliness kills him. (Report) Reply

  • Tiffanie Jones (4/26/2007 11:19:00 AM)

    There are two old sayings that can go along with this poem, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and “Money can’t buy happiness”. Everyone in the town envied Richard Cory; they thought that he had it all. On the surface it looked like he did, he was rich, handsome, and polite. What they did not realize was that inside he was unhappy. He was so unhappy with himself that he put a bullet through his head. All the money in the world can not buy true happiness. This comes from accomplishments, self- esteem, and the love of those that surround us. (Report) Reply

  • Ahmed Ali (4/9/2007 2:16:00 PM)

    Richard Cory written by Edwin Arlington Robinson, is about a man who appears to be admirable on the exterior but no one is familiar with his interior which is suffering. The narrator talks Richard Cory up by stating, he was “richer than a king, ” “admirably schooled, ” “we thought that he was everything to make us wish tat we were in his place.” Until an abrupt ending to the poem, “one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head.” This poem makes one think about true happiness and what it entails. From the outside one may appear to have everything but happiness does not come from wealth, it comes from within ones self and the narrator didn’t take the time to really get to know Richard Cory enough to observe his inner thoughts. (Report) Reply

  • Jacob Draper (4/5/2007 11:46:00 PM)

    This has been my favourite poem since I heard Simon and Garfunkel turn it into a song. (Report) Reply

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