Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

How does imagery from the natural world shape Richard Wilbur’s poetry?

How does the poet’s “praiseful eye,” as Wilbur calls it, appear in his poetry?

Does Wilbur’s religious faith shape his poetic concerns? If so, how?

Wilbur is famous for avoiding literary trends, but what poetic influences seem important to his work?

How does Wilbur’s formal verse (rhyme, meter, and so on) enhance what he has to say?

Wilbur is sometimes thought to be an “easy” poet—too graceful, too formal, unwilling to accept risk or tragedy. How fair is this assessment?