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


  1. Anja Plommer says:

    This poem ends really unexpectally. When you read the first few lines, you really want to be in Richard Cory’s place, because the author describes it very well. But this poem shows again, that money can’t buy you happiness, and even though everybody thought how great Cory’s life was, they never really knew, because they couldn’t see inside. They just expected him to be happy, because he had money. So I think they never really cared much about him, because he didn’t seem fragile and so I think he didn’t have any real friends. A real friend would have recognized how someone feels and who he truely is. The author also describes it that way; from the perspective of people, who just watch. That reminds me of Gatsby, because everyone was just talking about him and his great life, but they never really knew about him. They were just speculating all the time.

  2. jake harrison says:

    In the poem Richard Cory, Robinson is talking about how having all the money in the world can’t buy you happiness. Richard appeared very happy on the outside but on the inside he was not. This is evident when it states that he took his own life. I enjoyed reading this poem.

  3. Melissa says:

    This poem’s not really about envy, or greed, but the wealth that can be found in community and the desolation of isolation. This is evident in the way Robinson associates the working class and work with “light” and the way that Richard Cory took his own life “one calm summer night”. Even with all his riches, Cory could not find purpose or beauty in his existence.

  4. W.Murphy says:

    this poem talks about people who are jelous of a man that is richer and better off in life than they are. in thier envious rage they cowerdly put a bullet in Richard Corey,s head

  5. Kevin says:

    Robinson portrayed a renowned, wealthy, and dissatisfied man. The poem was about a respected man, Richard Cory who was envied by everyone in town, who looked at him as perfection. However something had disturbed Richard until he finally took his own life. this poem explains that no one is perfect and also that money can’t buy happiness.

  6. Niko Carrafield says:

    When i first started to read this poem it began with a man who every one envied, this man was rich which made you assume he lived nicely and probably had alot of friends but at the very end of the poem on the last line it the poem suddenly ends with the man committing suicide and shooting himself in the head which flips your view of the poem and thoughts about Richard Cory.

  7. W. Murphy says:

    this poem i like. i think it is pretty cool how it rhymes. I especially like the last line, the onethat says stuff about the bullet through the guys head.

  8. Ian Hart says:

    He seems like he is perfect and he has the most wonderful life. People look at him on the streets and wish they could be just like him with all his wealth and happyness. What most people don’t know is that when he goes home he is not happy, money doesn’t buy happyness

  9. aria says:

    this poem at first is deceptive. the reader is lead to believe that richard corey is a regular person without a serious trouble in the world. when we reach the end he kills himself unexpectidly. i think this poem shows that you can never really know who someone is.

  10. Trish says:

    i absolutly love this poem. I guess its a little old for me, but hey, the older the better!

  11. bob says:

    wow tis poem was splendid althught i dd not enjoy or understand it…now that i think of it …it was a shitty poem!!

  12. Kayla says:

    Baamm! That what the ending was like! I could not believe what had happened! Just as you were wishing to be that guy…. you begin to relize how unhappy he was. Life is an odd thing. We cant take anything for granted and we need to be happy with who we are because just becuase the grass may look greener on the other side there could be a lot of crap under all of it.

  13. finley says:

    I don’t care for poetry and I have to read it for my lit class, but this poem stuck with me. to those people who said he was unloved and money doesn’t buy happyness, It says right in it that he was greatly admired and friendly. That’s why I don’t think that it’s about money buying anything, so much as it’s about self-perception and how that effects a person’s psyche. sort of like how you can tell an anorexic she is grossly skinny but she will swear she is fat. Mind makes the reallity and if you believe it’s bad it is.


  14. mamta says:

    this poem z cool!!!!! v read dis poem in klass nd it waz sick. everyone waz ssoooooooooooooooo shocked. it waz funny!!!!! jus gotaa say this poem is ironically ended

  15. kimberly C. Mutia says:

    the indeed shows a type of irony that really reveals the present situation of this generation.Yes,we can never conclude that if a person is rich,has a pleasing personality he can never have problems…remember,everyone is equal in this world,and therefore,everyone can also experience pains…

  16. Emma from Saudi Arabia says:

    Hi every body this comment will be my first comment in your page, i hope u like it….
    this poem is an ironi poem … in the lines we can understand that richard has a good life instade of the people in the town who are working to get there food…
    so there is no reason for richard cory to commit a suiside ….
    that’s my point viow thanks for read it……

  17. lovely says:

    theme i got from this poem; the grass is no greener on the other side

  18. ching pang says:

    this poem is nice

  19. Ryo Nakamura says:

    this poem tells us tht money is not giving us happiness. In Japan, people are greedy,,,so mean,,,

  20. Lashay says:

    I enjoyed the poem, because I feel as if it means that money don’t make happiness and that’s what the problem is in todays world. Everyone wants money not happiness.

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