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Richard Wilbur (1) (1921–2017)

Author of The Disappearing Alphabet

For other authors named Richard Wilbur, see the disambiguation page.

82+ Works 2,651 Members 46 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Richard Purdy Wilbur was born in New York City on March 1, 1921. He received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in 1942. During Word War II, he was a combat soldier in Europe. He received a master's degree from Harvard University in 1947. He taught at Harvard University, Wesleyan University, show more Smith College, and Amherst College. His first collection, The Beautiful Changes, was published in 1947. His other collections of poetry included The Mind-Reader and Anterooms. In 1957, he received the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for Things of This World. He received a second Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for New and Collected Poems. He became the second poet laureate of the United States in 1987-88 and received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2006. He also wrote and illustrated several children's books and wrote lyrics for opera and musical theater productions including Leonard Bernstein's Candide. He was a translator of poems and other works from the French, Spanish, and Russian, including the plays of Molière and Jean Racine. He was the co-recipient of the Bollingen Translation Prize in 1963. He died on October 14, 2017 at the age of 96. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by Richard Wilbur

The Disappearing Alphabet (1998) 325 copies
New and Collected Poems (1988) 320 copies
Modern American and Modern British Poetry (1919) — Editor — 307 copies
Collected Poems 1943-2004 (2004) 298 copies
Poems Of Richard Wilbur (1963) 147 copies
The Pig in the Spigot (2000) 143 copies
Donne: The Laurel Poetry Series (1962) — Editor; Editor — 108 copies
Keats - The Laurel Poetry Series (1959) — Editor; Editor — 56 copies
Catbird's Song (1997) 52 copies
Candide: A Comic Operetta (1956) — Lyricist — 52 copies
A Bestiary (1955) — Compiler — 52 copies
Opposites, More Opposites, and a Few Differences (2000) — Illustrator — 41 copies
More Opposites (1991) — Illustrator — 37 copies
A Game of Catch (1600) 37 copies
Opposites : Poems and Drawings (1973) — Illustrator — 34 copies
Runaway Opposites (1995) 31 copies
Herrick (1962) — Editor — 30 copies
Longfellow: The Laurel Poetry Series (1959) — Editor — 29 copies
Byron (The Laurel Poetry Series) (1962) — Editor — 29 copies
Herbert (The Laurel Poetry Series) (1962) — Editor — 26 copies
The Mind-Reader (1976) 25 copies
Things of This World: Poems (1956) 22 copies
Loudmouse (1968) — Author — 21 copies
Browning (1960) — Editor — 18 copies
Whittier: The Laurel Poetry Series (1960) — Editor — 11 copies
Ceremony and other poems (1950) 11 copies
Candide: Original 1956 Broadway Cast Recording (2003) — Lyricist — 8 copies
Chaucer — Editor — 8 copies
Candide: Leonard Bernstein [1991 TV movie] (1991) — Lyricist — 7 copies
Coleridge The Laurel Poetry Series (1962) — Editor — 6 copies
Candide: Vocal Selections (1974) 6 copies
Candide: Scottish Opera Version Vocal Score (2002) — Lyrics — 6 copies
Candide: Original 1997 Broadway Cast Recording (1997) — Lyricist — 6 copies
Candide: Original 1974 Broadway Cast Recording (2006) — Lyricist — 5 copies
Poems, 1943-1956 (1957) 5 copies
Digging for China; a poem (1956) 4 copies
The Beautiful Changes (1947) 2 copies
Ben Jonson (1961) 2 copies
Complaint 2 copies
Advice from the Muse (1982) 1 copy
Pope — Editor — 1 copy
0PP0SITES 1 copy

Associated Works

Tartuffe (1664) — Translator, some editions — 2,908 copies
Phaedra (1677) — Translator, some editions — 1,971 copies
The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (Signet Classics) (1943) — Editor, some editions — 1,682 copies
The Misanthrope (1667) — Translator, some editions — 1,590 copies
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contributor — 1,263 copies
Don Juan (1665) — Translator, some editions — 1,007 copies
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 919 copies
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (1990) — Contributor — 752 copies
The School for Wives (1662) — Translator, some editions — 708 copies
Andromache (1667) — Translator, some editions — 685 copies
The Learned Ladies (1672) — Translator, some editions — 551 copies
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Contributor, some editions — 443 copies
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (1992) — Contributor — 391 copies
Contemporary American Poetry (1962) — Contributor, some editions — 385 copies
The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1844) — Editor, some editions — 359 copies
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology (2004) — Contributor — 298 copies
The Faber Book of Modern Verse (1936) — Contributor, some editions — 286 copies
The 40s: The Story of a Decade (2014) — Contributor — 277 copies
L'Illusion comique (1636) — Translator, some editions — 268 copies
The Best American Poetry 2000 (2000) — Contributor — 213 copies
The Best American Poetry 1999 (1999) — Contributor — 208 copies
The Art of Losing (2010) — Contributor — 199 copies
The Best American Poetry 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 176 copies
The Best American Poetry 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 174 copies
The Best American Poetry 1994 (1994) — Contributor — 172 copies
The Best American Poetry 2007 (2007) — Contributor — 166 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contributor — 162 copies
The Best American Poetry 1998 (1998) — Contributor — 161 copies
Candide [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1966) — Contributor — 154 copies
Amphitryon (1995) — Translator, some editions — 149 copies
The Faber Book of Beasts (1997) — Contributor — 141 copies
Poets of World War II (2003) — Contributor — 133 copies
The Narrative Poems (1966) — Editor, some editions — 124 copies
Selected Poems 1923-1967 (1970) — Translator — 116 copies
Emergency Kit (1996) — Contributor, some editions — 108 copies
Twentieth-Century American Poetry (1777) — Contributor — 97 copies
The Norton Book of Friendship (1991) — Contributor — 96 copies
Elsewhere, Vol. III (1984) — Contributor — 91 copies
Major writers of America (1962) — Editor, some editions — 86 copies
Whitman [ed. Fielder] (1959) — Editor, some editions — 86 copies
The Best American Poetry 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 86 copies
Science Fiction: The Future (1971) — Contributor — 84 copies
Stories from The New Yorker, 1950 to 1960 (1958) — Contributor — 80 copies
The Suitors (1668) — Editor, some editions — 74 copies
Edgar Allan Poe: Poems and Poetics (2001) — Editor — 73 copies
Blake [The Laurel Poetry Series] (1960) — Series editor — 73 copies
The Everyman Anthology of Poetry for Children (1994) — Contributor — 72 copies
Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (1684) — Contributor — 69 copies
School For Husbands and Sganarelle, or The Imaginary Cuckold, by Moliere (1994) — Translator, some editions — 67 copies
American Sonnets: An Anthology (2007) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (2012) — Contributor — 63 copies
Wordsworth (Laurel Poetry Series) (1959) — Series General Editor — 61 copies
School for Husbands (1661) — Translator, some editions — 57 copies
Poe: Complete Poems (The Laurel Poetry Series) (1959) — Editor — 50 copies
The Bungler (1951) — Translator, some editions — 47 copies
The Best Spiritual Writing 2011 (2010) — Contributor — 38 copies
Seventeenth-Century English Minor Poets (1964) — Editor — 37 copies
Antiworlds (1966) — Translator — 34 copies
Birds in the Hand: Fiction and Poetry about Birds (2004) — Contributor — 33 copies
Modern Arthurian Literature (1992) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Undead (1971) — Contributor — 31 copies
Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (1995) — Contributor — 30 copies
60 Years of American Poetry (1996) — Preface — 28 copies
Dryden (1955) — Editor — 27 copies
Le Cid and The Liar (2009) — Translator, some editions — 27 copies
Selected poems (1978) — Editor, some editions — 25 copies
The New Landscape in Art and Science (1956) — Contributor — 24 copies
Lovers' Quarrels (2007) — Translator, some editions — 24 copies
Marvel the Laurel Poetry Series (1961) — Editor — 23 copies
A. E. Housman: A Collection of Critical Essays (1968) — Contributor — 22 copies
Candide: Bernstein Conducts (1990) — Lyricist — 18 copies
A Life In Photography (1991) — Foreword, some editions — 16 copies
Four comedies (1982) — Translator, some editions — 16 copies
Poetry in Crystal (1963) — Contributor — 15 copies
Candide: New York Philharmonic [2005 TV episode] (2005) — Lyricist — 11 copies
Alfabet op de rug gezien (1995) — Contributor — 9 copies
The Laurel Poetry Series Milton (1964) — general editor — 8 copies
Antaeus No. 69, Fall 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 6 copies
Richard Wilbur (1967) — Associated Name — 5 copies
Richard Wilbur's creation (1983) — Associated Name — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 5, January 1976 (1976) — Contributor — 3 copies
New world Writing 21 — Contributor — 1 copy
The pelican : from a bestiary of 1120 — Translator, some editions — 1 copy
Richard Wilbur — Associated Name — 1 copy

Tagged

17th century (253) 19th century (62) 20th century (125) American (140) American literature (198) American poetry (185) anthology (897) books (61) books about books (63) classic (197) classics (215) collection (80) comedy (170) drama (768) essays (77) fiction (558) France (172) French (638) French literature (470) humor (62) Library of America (64) literary criticism (67) literature (589) Moliere (75) non-fiction (186) own (75) play (256) plays (373) poems (79) poetry (3,677) poetry anthology (107) read (116) reference (84) short stories (70) textbook (67) theatre (770) to-read (546) tragedy (63) unread (69) writing (88)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Wilbur, Richard Purdy
Birthdate
1921-03-01
Date of death
2017-10-14
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
New York, New York, USA
Place of death
Belmont, Massachusetts, USA
Places of residence
North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA
Education
Amherst College (AB ∙ 1942)
Harvard University (AM ∙ 1947)
Occupations
poet
translator
editor
children's book author
lyricist
army officer
Organizations
United States Army (Infantry)
Harvard University (junior fellow ∙ assistant professor)
Wellesley College (associate professor)
Wesleyan University (professor)
Smith College (writer-in-residence)
Amherst College (professor) (show all 7)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Awards and honors
Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1987-1988 )
Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize (1948)
Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize (1978)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1959)
Oscar Blumenthal Prize (1950)
Guggenheim fellowship (show all 27)
Prix de Rome fellowship
Edna St. Vincent Millay Memorial Award (1957)
Boston Festival Award (1959)
Ford Foundation fellowship
Melville Cane Award (1962)
Sarah Josepha Hale Award (1968)
Creative Arts Award, Brandeis University (1971)
Prix Henri Desfeuilles (1971)
Shelley Memorial Award (1973)
Chevalier, Ordre des Palmes Academiques (1983)
Gold Medal for Poetry, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1991)
Edward MacDowell Medal (1992)
National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (1994)
National Medal of the Arts (1994)
Academy American Achievement award (1995)
Robert Frost Medal (1996)
T. S. Eliot Award (1996)
Wallace Stevens Award (2006)
Aiken Taylor Award (2006)
PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation (1994)
Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (2006)

Members

Reviews

This was a treasured book of Ed’s. I had it rebound for him while I was at the Athenaeum.
 
Flagged
Eurekas | 3 other reviews | May 4, 2023 |
Modern American & Modern British Poetry, 1955, ed. Louis Untermeyer. I doubt that these poems could still be considered modern, but among them you will find timeless ideas and beauty. I especially like the story poems. Frost’s, The Witch of Coos, and E. A. Robinson’s, Mr. Flood’s Party. Individual lines like; “Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you”, “but the rain is full of ghost’s tonight”, “human kind can not bear very much reality”, “Night or day, what’er befall / I must walk that desert land / Until I dare my fear and call / The lion out to lick my hand.”, “A snake came to my water-trough / On a hot, hot day” are a few of my favorites. Take this book to your local coffee shop and relax.… (more)
 
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drardavis | 3 other reviews | Aug 1, 2019 |
A cute poetry book about the world if there was no alphabet. It was a cute read aloud for young children. Some of the rhymes seemed a little forced.
½
 
Flagged
csheldon | 12 other reviews | Dec 11, 2018 |

Lists

Awards

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Associated Authors

Lillian Hellman Author, Lyricist
John Latouche Lyricist

Statistics

Works
82
Also by
101
Members
2,651
Popularity
#9,686
Rating
3.8
Reviews
46
ISBNs
84
Languages
2
Favorited
2

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