Richard Wilbur: Wellesley, Massachusetts

from “Running”

(Wellesley, Massachusetts)

Restless that noble day, appeased by soft
Drinks and tobacco, littering the grass
While the flag snapped and brightened far aloft,
We waited for the marathon to pass,

We fathers and our little sons, let out
Of school and office to be put to shame.
Now from the street-side someone raised a shout,
And into view the first small runners came.

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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