"Richard Cory" (1897)
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.
I love this poem for several reasons. First, it sounds so nice and pleasant and then BAM, whammy at the end. Second, it's one that my students really enjoy when we do our unit on music in poetry. And last, and most important, it inspired Simon and Garfunkel to write and record a song based on it in 1966!
Happy Friday fellow A-Zers!