Please tell us your favorite Wilbur poems/books of poems so we can memorialize him by reading his best work.
“To A Comedian”
You stand up for the interests of folk
Who need a bedroom or a bathroom joke,
Told with a drumfire of such words as shit,
To job their jaded spirits for a bit.
It pays, you find, to give them what they’re after.
You are the clown who puts the ugh in laughter.
[…] What’s lightly hid is deepest understood,
And when with social smile and formal dress
She teaches leaves to curtsey and quadrille,
I think there are most tigers in the wood.
Rabbi, we Gadarenes
Are not ascetics; we are fond of wealth and possessions.
Love, as You call it, we obviate by means
Of the planned release of aggressions.
We have deep faith in properity.
Soon, it is hoped, we will reach our full potential.
In the light of our gross product, the practice of charity
Is palpably non-essential.
It is true that we go insane;
That for no good reason we are possessed by devils;
That we suffer, despite the amenities which obtain
At all but the lowest levels.
We shall not, however, resign
Our trust in the high-heaped table and the full trough.
If You cannot cure us without destroying our swine,
We had rather You shoved off.
“A Barred Owl”, “Hamlen Brook”
and “The Beacon,” are excellent examples of last line/stanza punches (at which Wilbur was particularly good).
“A Simile For Her Smile” and “A Dubious Night”, are delicious for their unusual parts of speech and word choices.