Richard Cory Poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Richard Cory

Rating: 4.1


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 OF THE POEM
Ruthie Bode 05 January 2012

Perhaps Richard Cory was gay and closeted. After all, gay people are much more likely to commit suicide than straight people.

51 168 Reply
Richard Stevens 16 August 2012

To me, it's simply the most beautiful poem there is. About a year ago, I didn't like poetry at all, I was way more into prose. However, with Robinson's poetry, this changed. His poetry is so readable and in this poem it's especially the last line impact that appeals to me. I remember reading it for the first time and being quite in shock when the poem came to an end. I love it how [the] people on the pavement admire him, I mean, how could they not admire him? The way Robinson describes him is absolutely amazing and I think he's simply the American Dream incarnate, which is also beautifully represented by the light everybody's waiting for. Moreover, it's mainly line 6-7 which I find interesting. The fact that he always sp[o]k[e] human when he talked might indicate that although he's obviously higher in social rank than the other inhabitants of the town, he doesn't mind talking to practically everyone in his town, no matter what social class they find themselves in. The expression that follows in line 7 still touches me when I read it, that is to flutter pulses. I myself am not native English speaker but I found out that this is not a universally acknowledged English expression, yet it is one that affects me deeply. Imagining that your pulse increases when you see someone you're impressed by is real nice, if you ask me. Also, I haven't managed to find this expression in any dictionary so I assume this saying has been invented by Robinson himself. I've recently decided to tattoo But still he fluttered pulses on my wrist (on the very place where you can feel your pulse) , since I admire the character very much and I'm happy to have the same name (Richard) as a admirable person as Richard Cory. When I was a kid, I didn't like my name one bit, but after reading this poem, I must say I'm super proud having a name partner like this

98 25 Reply
Mike Zvirblis 04 August 2010

I always felt Richard Cory had a physical problem. People see too much in this poem.

25 94 Reply
James Chase 24 November 2012

I find myself relating to this poem a lot recently. I agree with the usually disagreed with interpretation that Richard Cory *might* have been gay. I think the overall idea, however, is that money doesn't buy happiness and that people can be exceptionally skillful in hiding how they truly feel. I am in the top 5% of earners in the US, and I consider myself depressed. I'm gay and alone. While I don't see myself committing suicide, that doesn't mean I'm not miserable. No amount of money can fix that.

72 36 Reply
Manonton Dalan 18 February 2012

richard cory (rich ar do cry)

38 69 Reply
BRI EDWARDS 26 November 2021

WHO KNEW? ? ? ?

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 16 August 2021

Not all appearnaces are true, they can deceive! Brilliant poem. Congrats on Classic poem!

2 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 16 August 2021

A tragic story told in eloquent finesse.....

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 16 August 2021

A brilliant and vivid depiction that appearances are sometimes deceiving

0 0 Reply
Soulmate whatever 16 August 2021

Just like me

0 0 Reply
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