postmodernism

Review: Collected Poems, 1943-2004

Collected Poems, 1943-2004
Collected Poems, 1943-2004 by Richard Wilbur

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Richard Wilbur’s poetry is a breath of fresh air in a wasteland of postmodernism and neo-gnosticism. Wilbur rejects the modern movements which depreciate man, the cosmos and the creator of both. He turns instead to and continues within the tradition of the great poets of the past, clinging to traditional modes and themes of poetic expression.

Wilbur’s great ability is to draw out of even the most seemingly mundane and simple experiences, from clanging elevators in modern cities to flowers in lonely rural settings, a metaphor for the greater themes of life: love, truth, time, eternity and so on. Each moment, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is redeemed in Wilbur’s poetic vision of the world. Each moment becomes significant in its ability to direct us to the transcendent and permanent.

I recommend this collection of Wilbur’s poetry for anyone who loves poetry, truth or beauty. The perfect place to read it: in a city park, surrounded by the beauties of nature, of our fellow man and of our urban constructs, all at once — the way Wilbur presents it to you.

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