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 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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  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,172 Points Dorothy- A. Holmes (2/18/2007 10:14:00 PM)

    I enjoyed your poem so much. You painted a lovey picture of Richard Cory...
    I see him so clearly...
    Dorothy (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,172 Points Dorothy- A. Holmes (2/18/2007 10:13:00 PM)

    I enjoyed your poem so much. You painted a lovey picture of Richard Cory...
    I see him so clearly...
    Dorothy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cici Bailey (10/19/2006 8:22:00 PM)

    I also agree with Robert Shepard's comments. No one will ever understand what other people are going though even if that person try's to explain whats going on, but there is so much going on in people lives and some of those things are so horrible that they don't want to share those things, but as humans we all judge people for what they look like or where they come from not giving them a chance. For some people things get so bad or so hard that they feel they have to act like life is great to hard the truth, and because no one knows they feel no one cares so they feel as though they should end everything or try too. A man could have everything he could ever what but be the most depressed person you could ever meet. Did Richard Cory feel like no one cared maybe all he really needed was a friend...maybe that was we all need is a friend. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ron Fletcher (1/24/2006 8:36:00 PM)

    I agree with Robert Shepard's comments on this poem last
    summer. I am up in the years now. When I was 18,19
    years old, this poem and other writings like Romans 8 in
    the Bible made an impact. What if a man gains the whole
    world and does not have hope? People don't know what
    is going on in my heart: there is the world that is and there
    is the world that we perceive. Did Richard Cory have any
    idea about God's mercy? I have had a certain type of
    reputation like Richard but I know dark side of things
    and the need for forgiveness-for self and for others.
    Remember the touching encounter that Jesus had with
    a young rich man? He wanted to follow Christ but his heart
    preferred the leverage of riches. When the young man walked
    away, it was noted that Jesus's heart was tugged.
    Richard Cory, you're still around. May there be somebody
    who is not deflected by your aura and make an effort
    to be your friend. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Robert Shepard (6/4/2005 6:16:00 PM)

    this was my favorite poem since jr high school (and i'm really not a poetry person) . i've even gone so far as to use the story line in a song i've written. but that's beside the point. it just shows you that you never know what's going on in somebody else's life or head. when you think, 'geez, i wish that were me, ' or 'he always gets everything handed to him, ' or 'if only i could be him, even for a day...' you have to realize that nobody has it any better than you. everyone has problems and things they have a hard time dealing with. of course you may deal with their problems differently than they do, or not even view their problems as 'problems.' but that doesn't mean that their problems are any less serious than YOURS! ! be happy that you're you. learn to realize that your life is fleeting, and happiness and oportunity are always there, you just have to find it on the plate you're eating off of at the moment. (Report) Reply










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