Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
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.
depression- unknown artist.
(for Ben Brooks III, 1959 - 1999)
A man, whose future
in high school,
forced to live in the present
for another twenty years more.
I remember him then, Richard Cory,
he glittered fine sprinkled dust
when he chose;
to nothing then
but the next moment's same stand:
the tired bed, the worn path floor
to the cigarette in his hand.
A man, whose life
on a rope in his shower
twenty years of the present
having been more
than he wanted to stand;
found ten days later,
and if nobody
wanted to look at him then,
it no longer made any difference.
I'll think of him now, Richard Cory,
© Jonathan Bohrn (1999)