Friday, August 30, 2013

Poetry Friday: Richard Wilbur

Stunningly, I haven't posted a Wilbur poem for a year. I used to (without realizing I was doing it) choose "The Writer" every few months.

Now I realize.

I am quite deliberately re-posting the poem because it's that good, so good that it deserves daily posting. But then perhaps its familiarity would breed contempt, and that is something I could not bear.

One new thing -- some links to information about Wilbur's short story writing daughter, Ellen Wilbur:

Filial Fiction
The State of the Short Story

Enough of my words. Move on to Wilbur's:

The Writer 
by Richard Wilbur

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,

(Read the whole poem here, at, or listen to it here, at The Internet Poetry Archive.
The round up today is at A Teaching Life.


GatheringBooks said...

I can see why you love this so much. I have an eleven year old daughter. I feel every line here. :)

jama said...

One of my favorites too. I posted it in the early days of Alphabet Soup back at LiveJournal. Timeless poem!

Karen Edmisten said...

I feel every line, too, Myra. And Jama, I agree -- it's timeless. :)

Doraine said...

This is one of my all time favorite poems!

BJ Lee said...

wonderful poem. Ah, Richard Wilbur! Sigh...

Mary Lee said...

Go ahead and post it every few months. We all love it that much! Most of the rest of the weeks you can post Billy Collins and we won't complain about that, either! :-)

Karen Edmisten said...

So it's unanimous ... Wilbur On a Regular Basis. :)