Wilbur was a New England poet just as good as Robert Frost, if not better. His skilled work and craftsmanship is unsurpassed. Poems of deep feeling, intellectual rigor, and a glorious sensitivity to “the things of this world.” Unlike most writers I like, his work is optimistic and joyful. He finds the miraculous in the mundane—a hint of angel feathers in the throwing out of mop water, in waiting for a drawbridge to drop the perfect simile for the expectation of a smile from his wife. An American master.
With a distinguished career spanning more than sixty years, Richard Wilbur stands as one of America's preeminent men of letters. Collected Poems 1943-2004 is the comprehensive collection of Wilbur's astonishing, timeless work. It will serve as the most referenced trove of this beloved poet's best verses for many years to come.
In Trackless Woods In trackless woods, it puzzled me to find Four great rock maples seemingly aligned, As if they had been set out in a row Before some house a century ago, To edge the property and lend some shade. I looked to see if ancient wheels had made Old ruts to which the trees ran parallel, But there were none, so far as I could tell- There'd been no roadway. Nor could I find the square Depression of a cellar anywhere, And so I tramped on further, to survey Amazing patterns in a hornbeam spray Or spirals in a pine cone, under trees Not subject to our stiff geometries.
About the Author
RICHARD WILBUR, one of America’s most beloved poets, has served as poet laureate of the United States. He has received the National Book Award, two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Arts Club medal of honor for literature, and a number of translation prizes, including two Bollingen Prizes and two awards from PEN.
PRAISE FOR COLLECTED POEMS 1943-2004
"Collected Poems 1943-2004 is the indispensable Wilbur. The emergence of a poet like Wilbur as a hero to a new generation of critics is cause for hope: that readers, not gatekeepers, might rediscover poems written in the spirit of generosity and care, and disciplined by the idea of an uncaptive audience."--The New York Times Book Review
"The work in these five hundred or so pages has been one of the saving graces of poetry in our time, as beautiful and moving as it is artful and accomplished. This collected edition will see a reader through quiet evenings and noisy Metro commutes, indeed through one's whole life."--The Washington Post Book World