Richard Cory

1072 WordsJun 14, 20085 Pages
Explication It is the juxtaposition of this old, highly rigid, formulated, classical style with this very modern, personal subject matter that continues to intrigue readers of Robinson's works to this day. This next poem, considered by some to be Robinson's finest work, is a perfect example of this conflict of form and content, and how it melds to form Robinson's singular poetic style. "Richard Cory" Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from head to crown, Clean favored, and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he…show more content…
In the narrator's eye's, Cory continues to be the perfect, polite gentleman, as he was "always human when he talked.". Cory was certainly not the picture of a snobbish or rude man. Cory was also a very popular fellow, as he "fluttered pulses" with a simple "Good-morning". Add that he "glittered when he walked.", and Cory is an impressive social figure indeed. In the third stanza, the narrator's picture of Richard Cory's perfect life is completed, as the narrator goes on to tell us about Cory's financial success and his refined nature. Cory is described as "richer than a king" and "schooled in every grace." To finish this wonderful picture of this wonderful man the narrator simply says, "we thought that he was everything / To make us wish that we were in his place." However, the poem takes a sudden, dark twist in the last stanza. Robinson does this by first revealing a little more about the narrator. In the first two lines of the fourth stanza, the narrator says: "So on we worked, and waited for the light/ And went without meat and cursed the bread . . . ." This is obviously a reference to the narrator's own poor financial and social state. For the narrator, work is a place of darkness and hardship where you simple "wait for the light." For the narrator, there is no meat to eat at dinner-time, and after so many meals without it, you begin to curse the cheap bread that you do have to
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