Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Collection of Richard Wilbur Poems...

Four years after the release of his marvelous Collected Poems: 1943-2004, Richard Wilbur delights us with another fine collection. Anterooms: New Poems and Translations is more of what admirers of Wilbur’s poetry have come to expect and are never disappointed. In the simplest terms, Richard Wilbur's words are illuminated by “what is”. He is arguably the finest formalist poet alive and his works are filled with truth, goodness, and beauty. I have been convinced for some time that his work is informed by the convictions of Christian Humanism and the following piece adds to my confidence.

A Measuring Worm

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn’t know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.