Richard Wilbur (3441 words)


Richard Wilbur dedicates the new poems in his 2004 collection to his wife, Charlee, “in this and the other kingdom”. The phrase, which comes from his delightful poem “Complaint” (Walking in to Sleep 1969), does not seem to mean exclusively an afterlife. It reflects his life-long dedication to the time-bound world and interest in its other—infinity. It is attainable on earth, as explicitly stated in the title of his poem “Attention Makes Infinity” (The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems, 1947). The “other kingdom” can also be a glimpse of divinity or a mysterious dimension, which humanity co-opts from dreams. It may allude to other poetic consciousnesses (for example, Edgar Allan Poe, with whom Wilbur …

Citation: Wai, Isabella. "Richard Wilbur". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2009 [, accessed 21 October 2020.]

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