34: Collected Poems, 1943–2004, by Richard Wilbur (1921–2017)
His recent death disturbed The Force—
In literary ways, of course.
There are few poets I have read
Who wove their words with golden thread
The way that Wilbur did—with ease?
His forms were formal (shaped to please);
His rhymes were subtle—not clichéd.
His subjects—wrenching, well-conveyed.
My mother knew him fairly well—
Their church, the same,* and she would tell
Me what he sometimes said and did—
And I became her jealous kid!
He signed some books of verse for me—
Most treasured things, I guarantee.
I’ve memorized a handful, too—
My treasured friends—so pure, so true.
*St Stephens Church (Episcopal); Pittsfield, Mass.