Poems: Richard Cory and The Rich Man

(some things are not as obvious as we may think they are even with people who seem to be so well off, according to Edwin Arlington Robinson and Franklin P. Adams)

Have you ever thought that maybe the people we admire, look up to, and place in high esteem just might have problems that we are not aware of?

Richard Cory

by Edwin Arlington Robinson, 1869-1935

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.

The Rich Man

by Franklin P. Adams, 1881-1960

The rich man has his motor-car,

His country and his town estate.

He smokes a fify-cent cigar

And jeers at Fate.

He frivols through the livelong day,

He knows not Poverty her pinch.

His lot seems light, his heart seems gay,

He has a cinch.

Yet though my lamp burns low and dim,

Though I must slave for livelihood—

Think you that I would change with him?

You bet I would!

More poems are listed at this Poems: Index.