The Mnemosyne Weekly: Poem Twenty-Six (Wilbur)

Richard Wilbur
From Things of This World

I’ve long admired Richard Wilbur‘s beautiful poetry, which is playful, formal, and perfectly polished. This poem, which I pulled from New and Collected Poemsbut which originally appeared in Things of This World, is a little more whimsical than the typical Wilbur poem, so if you aren’t familiar with his work, I urge you to take a look at one of his books to bask in his incredible range. Almost two years ago, David Orr of The New York Times Book Reviewstated, “At 89, Richard Wilbur still cuts a straight path through the shifting landscape of American poetry.” How true this is!
And for your enjoyment, here is a link to Wilbur reading “Apology”:
Have a great week!


A word sticks in the wind’s throat;
A wind-launch drifts in the swells of rye;
Sometimes, in broad silence,
The hanging apples distil their darkness.
You, in a green dress, calling, and with brown hair,
Who come by the field-path now, whose name I say
Softly, forgive me love if also I call you
Wind’s word, apple-heart, haven of grasses.

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