Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Long Love of Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur died on October 14 at the age of 96. He will be remembered as one of America's truly great poets. I will always be grateful to my wife Eileen for introducing me to his verses years ago. 

Writing with simplicity and elegance but also drawing on an attentive perception of the luminosity of reality, Wilbur leaves a poetic legacy that glows like a hearth. It is the warmth and light of a disciplined, concentrated, intense fire.

I devoted some time to a graphic presentation of an excerpt from his poem "For C." which is dedicated to his wife Charlotte. They were married for 64 years, until her death in 2007.

"...there’s a certain scope in that long love
Which constant spirits are the keepers of,
And which, though taken to be tame and staid,
Is a wild sostenuto of the heart,
A passion joined to courtesy and art
Which has the quality of something made,
Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent,
Like a rose window or the firmament."

~from "For C." by Richard Wilbur (March 1, 1921 - October 14, 2017).

May the Lord grant eternal rest to his great and good soul.