Friday, May 2, 2014

Richard Wilbur is my favorite poet.

Richard Wilbur, Harvard scholar and Pulitzer-Prize winning author.  His Collected Works were the stuff of my courtship: my now-husband gifted me with his second and more complete copy, precipitated by our mutual love of blackberries, shared by Mr. Wilbur.  We read aloud his poems to one another on lazy afternoons, and his clear style quickly accelerated him to a high stature in my mind.  Now, he is quite possibly my favorite poet.
The poet himself, circa 1965, in some grass

After all, he writes such insights into reality such as:

The opposite of duck is drake.
Remember that, for heaven's sake!
One's female, and the other's male.
In writing to a drake, don't fail
To start you letter off, "Dear Sir."
"Dear Madam" is what ducks prefer.

In snowball fights, the opposite
Of duck, of course, is getting hit.

An Earlier Photo


What is the opposite of mirror?
The answer hardly could be clearer:
It's anything which, on inspection,
Is not all full of your reflection.

For instance, it would be no use
To brush your hair before a moose,
Or try a raincoat on for size
While looking at a swarm of flies.

Another opposite from Wilbur.

Wilbur, Richard.  Opposites, More Opposites, and a Few Differences.  Orlando: Harcourt.  2000

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