Richard Wilbur has lived his life waiting for poems to happen. “That’s how it always works,” he says. “I don’t put my head down and try to write. I always wait for something to gather at the back of my mind.” His new book — Collected Poems — captures 60 years of a life spent waiting and writing. Wilbur published his first book of poems in 1947 — and throughout the fifties was considered one of America’s leading poetic voices. During the 1960 and 70s, Wilbur’s formal style was overwhelmed by the raging free verse of poets like Plath and Ginsberg. But he continued to write and today he says, at age 84 he has shaken off the shadows of his earlier influences and found a voice that is more direct, and more his own. Richard Wilbur brings us poems that praise.
Poet Richard Wilbur