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,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.


Comments about Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

  • michael walker. (7/29/2019 9:00:00 PM)

    I taught this poem in high school and I still like it very much. Richard Cory's suicide seems at odds with the precise rhymes and meter. Where people are concerned, appearances can be deceptive.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Rachel granger (6/25/2019 1:29:00 PM)

    Shake me wake(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Harry Nugent (12/6/2018 7:26:00 PM)

    My father, When mom left, he said one day that he would do it. In life, dad always kept his word.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Ilene G T (10/10/2018 7:27:00 PM)

    I read this poem in junior high school in the early '60's. I rediscovered it when Simon and Garfunkel put it to music; I'm not sure which album, but it's certainly worth listening to.(Report)Reply

    John Herling(3/15/2019 7:29:00 AM)

    The album was The Sounds of Silence (1965) .

    1 person liked.
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  • Carol Quinn Cowels (9/6/2018 9:23:00 AM)

    I never forgot reading this poem when I was in High School,1958, thereabouts. The message remained with me, although I could not remember the author nor poem title. Yesterday, I heard Evangelist Begg recite ' Richard Cory'. Amazing.(Report)Reply

    John Herling(3/15/2019 7:32:00 AM)

    The poem was " Richard Cory" , by Edward Arlington Robinson, from his Spoon River Anthology (1915) .

    1 person liked.
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  • Patrick Hannaford (8/8/2018 8:20:00 PM)

    The people wanted to be like Richard Corey. Be careful what you wish for. To walk in Richard’s shoes is to walk with unbearable suffering.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Margaret Patterson (7/14/2018 11:20:00 AM)

    I am Richard Cory. Not rich, just expected to be strong and capable. So not(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Carlino (6/29/2018 7:00:00 PM)

    Someone once said, You need to be quite a juggler if you have a reputation to keep up and a reputation to live down.(Report)Reply

    born on 6/29(11/1/2018 6:57:00 AM)

    great line. first time I came across it

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Eediah Alojam (6/19/2018 10:13:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem no doubt. A whole novel in a few verses. I lovit(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • MaryJoK. (6/14/2018 12:24:00 PM)

    The two recent suicides of the famous and successful people reminded me of this poem.
    We'll never know, hopefully, that feeling.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Orangebug in Atlanta (6/10/2018 4:26:00 PM)

    This is most important after the celebrity suicides recently.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Phil in Pa (6/8/2018 5:33:00 PM)

    Richard Cory has stayed with me for 4 decades, especially during hard times.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Oladehinde TemitayoOladehinde Temitayo (3/20/2018 5:09:00 AM)

    I like this poem so much, a day can not go by that I will not read it. in one word my favorite(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Oladehinde Temitayo JS (3/20/2018 4:55:00 AM)

    I like this poem so much, that I like to go through it everyday(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Grandpa (1/28/2018 7:47:00 PM)

    This is the poem I told you about(Report)Reply

    Grandson(4/6/2018 11:23:00 AM)

    Thanks for showing me the poem, Grandpa! Can't wait to see you this Hanukkah!

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Allison Mandel (11/13/2017 1:12:00 PM)

    My mothers favorite poem.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Alex Anayo (11/6/2017 6:55:00 AM)

    This shows that all that is glitter is not gold, someone we envy may be dying inside without anyone knowing. It got to show that appearance can be deceptive.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Youmpkang Bapkek  Bright S Youmpkang Bapkek Bright S (4/10/2017 1:33:00 PM)

    physical appearance may be deceptive (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Georgie HildermanGeorgie Hilderman (3/18/2017 11:32:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem...beautiful lines and description.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sylvaonyema UbaSylvaonyema Uba (2/11/2017 11:02:00 PM)

    He was a gentleman from soul to crown.

    But all that glitters is not gold.
    Life is full of surprises.
    Don't judge a book by its cover.
    Good poem!

    Sylva-Onyema Uba(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
Read all 116 comments »

Richard Cory Score Card

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4,1 / 5 (239 votes)109



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Read poems about / on: summer, people, home, light, night, school, work



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Monday, May 21, 2012