RICHARD WILBUR ON HIS BIRTHDAY (1997)
Oh, if your name were only “Wilver,”
With a v instead of b,
There would be a lot less silver
On this head of mine. You’d see
Brown again — some gray, at least.
For sure, perhaps, I’d be well fleeced
The way I was when we were younger...,
But you seem not to have grown old.
What’s going on, you ballad-monger?
Who is this fellow I behold
Now and again and here and there,
This tall, good-looking guy with hair?
If my old cat saw Richard Wilbur
I know exactly what she’d do
If she were young, too, and could still purr:
She’d climb up in your lap and mew,
And then she’d settle down and choose
To await the arrival of your Muse
(Although she’d probably spell it "Mews").
-- Lewis Turco
from The Formalist, viii:1, 1997, p. 37.