Richard Wilbur: Fort Wayne, Indiana

from “John Chapman”

Out of your grave, John Chapman, in Fort Wayne,
May you arise, and flower, and come true.
We meanwhile, being of a spotted strain
And born into a wilder land than you,

Expecting less of natural tree or man
And dubious of working out the brute,
Affix such hopeful scions as we can
To the rude, forked, and ever savage root.

About the Author

Richard Wilbur

Prize winner, 1957 & 1989

Born in New York City on March 1, 1921, Richard Wilbur studied at Amherst College before serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He later attended Harvard University. His first book of poems, The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems was published in 1947, and he went on to write several more volumes over the next five decades, including two Pulitzer Prize winners: Things of This World (1956) and New and Collected Poems (1988). Among his honors are the Wallace Stevens Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Frost Medal, the T. S. Eliot Award, a Ford Foundation Award and two Guggenheim Fellowships. He was elected a chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques and is a former Poet Laureate of the United States. Wilbur served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1961 to 1995. He currently lives in Cummington, Massachusetts.

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