Richard Wilbur Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What does the poem "The Writer" mean?

Expert Answers info

Michelle Barry, M.B.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer, Professional Researcher

bookB.A. from Swarthmore College

bookM.B.A. from New York University


calendarEducator since 2019

write686 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

In the poem "The Writer" by Richard Wilbur, the poet is thinking about his daughter. She is the writer to whom the title refers. The poet says that she is in her room in the family's house, where she is writing a story.

He "wish[es] her a lucky passage." By this, he means two things. He hopes that she will have an easy time writing her story—that the words will flow naturally for her. He says that as "young as she is, the stuff of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy."

Wilbur does not indicate his daughter's precise age. He only says that she is young. Thus, the reader can only wonder at what difficulties a person so young has encountered. He could simply mean that she views some of the things that have happened to her as heavy, while in reality, they are the usual issues that face most young people, and that with a writer's flair for the dramatic, his daughter is dramatizing some of her personal history. On the other hand, he might actually mean that she has encountered...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 838 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,410 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jessica Pope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write590 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial