Thursday, October 09, 2008

Life Became Too Much

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.

A young man, enthusiastic, energetic, filled with life and friends, was watching a movie with his fellow college students, sharing popcorn and laughing the other night.

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.

Nobody knew he had his own demons fighting within him. His girlfriend said, “He had such a zest for life and such a positive attitude. That’s why this is so inconceivable.” But some battles are kept so far inside that nobody sees them and nobody saw the gun he used on the Market Street Bridge railing as he fell into the river.

So 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.


Anonymous ruthc said...

I am profoundly saddened to read this entry.
I can only hope the young man has found peace.

October 09, 2008 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, and hopefully his family and friends

October 10, 2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

The poem Richard Cory is by Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935). He was an unhappy child and, as an adult, quite reclusive. He wrote "Richard Cory" in 1897.

October 10, 2008 11:50 AM  
Anonymous RuthC said...

I remember studying the poem in elementary school. It was one of the few readings that had an impact on me. It still does.

October 10, 2008 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out the word "we" in the last stanza. Just thought you would want to know as it changes the sense of the whole last stanza.

October 11, 2008 6:39 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

anon --

Can you quote its use in the poem? I checked a bunch of references and can't find any with more than one "we" in the final stanza. I'd like to get it right if there is something missing. Thanks.

October 11, 2008 10:03 AM  

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