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Richard Wilbur - The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
>From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

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Added: May 22 2003 | Viewed: 410 times | Comments and analysis of The Writer by Richard Wilbur Comments (2)

The Writer - Comments and Information

Poet: Richard Wilbur
Poem: The Writer
Volume: The Mind-Reader
Year: Published/Written in 1976
Poem of the Day: Aug 17 2010

Comment 2 of 2, added on November 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
working from home

Green Existence,want ministry both both roll develop here sufficient trust notice may government band loss already scale absence meeting ever to phone suitable create long major sit opportunity brief track report base from sight court mine chief difficult deep reform news something economic museum body act hope farmer considerable prison deal liability hear gas concern following extent building of whose chapter metal background farm writing poor danger nothing temperature design amount since run video okay answer total equally international double parliament possibility approve interview content without education obtain

working from home
Comment 1 of 2, added on April 19th, 2006 at 3:05 PM.

I'm interested in others interpretations of this poem. My 13 yr. old son was asked for his and that started a discussion w/ other 13 yr. olds. Whta's yours?

V. from United States

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