Richard Wilbur

(March 1, 1921)

Juggler - Poem by Richard Wilbur

A ball will bounce; but less and less. It's not
A light-hearted thing, resents its own resilience.
Falling is what it loves, and the earth falls
So in our hearts from brilliance,
Settles and is forgot.
It takes a sky-blue juggler with five red balls

To shake our gravity up. Whee, in the air
The balls roll around, wheel on his wheeling hands,
Learning the ways of lightness, alter to spheres
Grazing his finger ends,
Cling to their courses there,
Swinging a small heaven about his ears.

But a heaven is easier made of nothing at all
Than the earth regained, and still and sole within
The spin of worlds, with a gesture sure and noble
He reels that heaven in,
Landing it ball by ball,
And trades it all for a broom, a plate, a table.

Oh, on his toe the table is turning, the broom's
Balancing up on his nose, and the plate whirls
On the tip of the broom! Damn, what a show, we cry:
The boys stamp, and the girls
Shriek, and the drum booms
And all come down, and he bows and says good-bye.

If the juggler is tired now, if the broom stands
In the dust again, if the table starts to drop
Through the daily dark again, and though the plate
Lies flat on the table top,
For him we batter our hands
Who has won for once over the world's weight.


Comments about Juggler by Richard Wilbur

  • Paresh Chakra (12/9/2018 10:51:00 AM)

    Oh, on his toe the table is turning, the broom's
    Balancing up on his nose, and the plate whirls
    On the tip of the broom! , what a show, we cry:
    The boys stamp, and the girls
    Shriek, and the drum booms
    And all come down, and he bows and says good-bye.
    This is a good stanga
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (1/25/2018 9:31:00 AM)

    ANYONE HERE FROM SWAMIDOSS? ? ? (Report)Reply

    (10/29/2018 9:55:00 AM)

    Yea my guy

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • (7/19/2005 9:11:00 PM)

    I love this poem!
    Read it in an anthology on an airplane trip, a year or so ago.
    Already ReportedReply

    15 person liked.
    21 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »



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Read poems about / on: heaven, red, sky, light, girl



Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Sunday, July 9, 2006


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