Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich-yes, richer than a king-
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem Richard Cory

78 Comments

  1. if says:

    The poem may be read as an ironic commentary on the American dream of wealth,success,power.

  2. mary degnan says:

    Beautiful!The person you admire and, on a benign level envy, may well be carrying a heavy burden.Has a loved one died? Has he experienced heavy financial losses? Has he had bad news from his doctor? Is he subject to periods clinical depression? You can think of many more. You have experienced them yourself.
    So:judge kindly always.

  3. David says:

    I’ve read here some speculations of Richard Corey’s death and many have speculated that money, fame and appearance do not necessary be equated to happiness but no one speculating that maybe he was a gay. And probably he really was, and after hiding it for a long time he didn’t want to disappoint the people around him thus made him decide curtailing his life.

  4. Tyler Young says:

    This poem emulates how people can appear to have everything materially, but be very lonely and depressed on the inside. Many teens these days also have feelings like this, maybe not as extreme but they try to appear to be cool and have cool things to impress friends but really your lonely and no one understands you.

    Practiceee

  5. Cindy H says:

    Robison uses imagery to have Richard Cory seem like a well known and freindly man that everyone admires. Cory is expressed as a man who is enveied by everyone, but they are unable to see how unhappy Cory is with himself and his life. The people Cory says good morining to as he passes by just see his outer shell, unfortunately they don’t see how he is buring inside and is struggling to fight his will to live.

  6. Rekisha says:

    This peon is so sad! at the beginning everyone thinks he is so happy with his wealth but at the end they realise he is not when he dies. this portrays the fact that most people do not realise in today’s world. money does not buy happiness, and someone may appear to be elated but truely they are depressed inside. their inner mind is not shown to the world and money is not THEIR HAPPINESS in life like richard cory.

  7. Christian & Anna says:

    We liked the part when the man was killed. i can’tbelieve someone would want to kill a nice rich man =( it was soooooooooooooooooooooo sad. He was soooo happy until that person killed him! heheheheh *tears*

  8. michelle says:

    well richard cory seems like a rich man who possess some of the qualities that the people on the pavement desire. they saw him as perfect but deep down he was lonely and face problens of his own and so one day he put a end to his life

  9. Brandon Kreindel says:

    In this poem shows that Richard was a normal appearing man to most everyone and had a lot of money. When he went home he was depressed and would hide his inner feelings. The author uses words to make you almost feel sorry for richard.

  10. brandon Kreindel says:

    This poem shows that Richard was a normal appearing man to most everyone and had a lot of money. When he went home he was depressed and would hide his inner feelings. The author uses words to make you almost feel sorry for richard.

  11. Jillian Capdevielle says:

    In this poem, it is talking about a well liked man, who is rich, and has a pretty good life. In the end, the man shoots himself in the head out of nowhere. Nobody saw it coming. This is showing, that just because a man may seem happy, because of his possessions, he may as well be the poorest man in the world. Money and fame annot buy you happiness. It takes a true person, who actually cares, to really see wehat a person is feeling. Obviously these people did not care for him as much as they acted.

  12. aria collin says:

    I think this poem like sanburgs Chicago tells us not to judge a book by its cover. Richard corey is a peoples person who is always polite and well mannered untill he kills himself. i think Robinson is asking the reader to look deeper into a human being and notice how they really are. not how they pretend to be.

  13. Reece Ludwig says:

    This poem is very relevant to everyday life. The saying money can’t buy happiness has been around forever and it always stays consistant. The poem is very down to earth and the message can be felt in all walks of life.

  14. Andrew Lara says:

    Richard Cory is all around good guy who seems to have no trouble on the surface. this poem shows that people only see what is on the outside. Richard Cory never showed the world his trouble and it ended up killing him.

  15. jeff key says:

    this poem talks about how people can look so happy on the out side but be a different person on the inside. cory was admired by most people and seemed to be happy. cory hid his feelings and showed how he truely felt when he killed himself.

  16. Ashley Dien says:

    “RIchard Cory” is one of my favorite poems. Robinson portrays an aphorism of how “looks can be decieving” and “money can’t buy happiness”. Richards seems as if he has it all, but it really doesn’t matter if in the end if you spend it all alone. The poem says alone and lonely are too different things. Popularity is materialistic. You don’t gain anything to make you feel complete with money and money alone.

  17. Johanna Arroyo says:

    The poem “Richard Cory”, by Edwin Arlington Robinson, talks about the life of a rich man. The man seems to be happy on the outside, whenever people see him. In the inside, he is not happy at all, even though he has a lot of money. Richard relates to Gatsby who was a rich man but he was not happy because he did not have the love of his life, Daisy. Money can’t buy happiness.

  18. norah says:

    i think what all this poem about is about the isolation of richard cory which killed him and that it is evidant in the narrator’s lines. the narrator uses cory’s fall name to talk about him, if there is any kind of relationsh between them the narrator will not use the fall name and the relationship will show to the narrator that cory is unhabby in his life

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