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Richard P. Wilbur (AC 1942) Papers, ca. 1945-2005
4 archives boxes (2 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Worksheets, notes, typescripts, and galley proofs for published poems (sometimes together with associated correspondence), poetry translations and prose pieces by Richard Wilbur.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

Poet, translator and critic Richard Purdy Wilbur was born in New York City in 1921. He graduated from Amherst College in 1942 and has taught English at Harvard and Wesleyan Universities and Wellesley and Smith Colleges. He has been awarded a number of honors for his poetry, including the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the Wallace Stevens Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Frost Medal, the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bollingen Prize, the T. S. Eliot Award, a Ford Foundation Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Edna St. Vincent Millay Memorial Award, the Oscar Blumenthal Prize for Poetry, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, the National Arts Club medal of honor for literature, two PEN translation awards, the Prix de Rome Fellowship, and the Shelley Memorial Award. He was elected a chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques and is a Chancellor Emeritus of The Academy of American Poets.

In addition to poetry, he has also published numerous translations of plays by Molière and Racine, contributed the lyrics for Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide, written several books for children, and produced two collections of critical writing. In 1987-1988 Richard Wilbur served as Poet Laureate of the United States; the following year he was the Robert Frost Library Fellow at Amherst College, where he has spoken and read his work on numerous occasions.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Worksheets, notes, typescripts, and galley proofs for published poems (sometimes together with associated correspondence), poetry translations and prose pieces by Richard Wilbur.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in Richard P. Wilbur Papers [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

History of the Collection

Gift of Richard P. Wilbur, ca. 1969.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English.

Contents List
Series 1: POETRY



Series 1, POETRY, is further organized into two sub-series:

A. Published Volumes, ca. 1950-1969, includes materials used in the preparation of the following volumes of Wilbur's poetry: Ceremony and Other Poems (1950); Things of This World (1956); Advice to a Prophet (1961); and Walking to Sleep (1969). Arranged chronologically.
B. Individual Poems, includes early worksheets and drafts of individual poems, including some translations. (Other translations are found in Series 2.) Arranged alphabetically by title.

Subseries A: Published Volumes



Ceremony and Other Poems - worksheets and typescripts for material eliminated from publishing the volume
ca. 1950

Box 1: folder 1
Ceremony and Other Poems - worksheets and typescripts
ca. 1950

Box 1: folder 2
Ceremony and Other Poems - worksheets and typescripts
ca. 1950

Box 1: folder 3
Ceremony and Other Poems - galley proofs
ca. 1950

Box 1: folder 4
Things of This World - typescript, setting copy
ca. 1956

Box 1: folder 5
Advice to a Prophet - Worksheets and typescripts
ca. 1959

Box 1: folder 6
Advice to a Prophet - galley and page proofs
ca. 1959

Box 1: folder 7
Walking to Sleep - worksheets and typescripts
ca. 1968

Box 1: folder 8
Walking to Sleep - proofs of front matter, dust jacket, and brochure
ca. 1968

Box 1: folder 9
Walking to Sleep - proofs of text
ca. 1968

Box 1: folder 10
Correspondence (2 letters from Wilbur, 1 from John Ciardi about Untermeyer's review of Walking to Sleep)
1969 Apr

Box 1: folder 10a
Pedestrian Flight - typescripts, galley, and page proofs)
ca. 1979-1981

Box 1: folder 10b
Pedestrian Flight - correspondence with Stuart Wright, palaemon Press)
ca. 1979-1981

Box 1: folder 10c
Subseries B: Individual Poems



Advice from the Muse


Box 1: folder 11
Advice to a Prophet


Box 1: folder 11a
After the Last Bulletins


Box 1: folder 12
The Agent


Box 1: folder 13
Another Voice


Box 1: folder 14
The Aspen and the Stream


Box 1: folder 15
Ballade for the Duke of Orleans


Box 1: folder 16
Baroque Wall-fountain (no text, only Wilbur's commentary)


Box 1: folder 17
The Beacon


Box 1: folder 18



Note:
A Black Birch in Winter (fair copy mailed to WGBY-TV for its fundraising auction; includes ALS and env.)
1974 Apr

Box 1: folder 18a
A Black November Turkey


Box 1: folder 19
A Christmas Hymn


Box 1: folder 20
A Chronic Condition


Box 1: folder 21
Complaint


Box 1: folder 22
Digging for China


Box 1: folder 23
Driftwood


Box 1: folder 24
Easter Sun ("Parable" was salvaged from this poem)


Box 1: folder 25
Exeunt (also published as "Exodus"), with drafts


Box 1: folder 26
Exodus - see "Exeunt"


Box : folder -
Fall in Corrales (see also "Speech for the repeal of the McCarran Act")


Box 1: folder 27
Ferns in Hampshire County


Box 1: folder 28
A fire truck


Box 1: folder 29
For Kathleen Raine on her sixtieth birthday


Box 1: folder 30
From the lookout rock


Box 1: folder 31
Gemini


Box 1: folder 32



Note:

Giraffe - see "Exeunt"

Gnomons


Box 1: folder 32a
The good servant


Box 1: folder 33
A grasshopper


Box 1: folder 34
He was


Box 1: folder 35
Hole in the floor


Box 2: folder 1
Icarium Mare


Box 2: folder 1a
In a churchyard


Box 2: folder 2
In the elegy season


Box 2: folder 3
In the smoking car


Box 2: folder 4
John Chrysostom


Box 2: folder 5
Junk


Box 2: folder 6
Lamarck elaborated (with initial notes for "Mind")


Box 2: folder 7
A late aubade (includes 1968 Christmas card)


Box 2: folder 8
The lilacs (includes proofs of "The proof" and "Seed leaves"


Box 2: folder 9
Looking into history (includes initial notes for "Beasts," "A voice from under the table," and some unwritten poems)


Box 2: folder 10
Love calls us to the things of this world


Box 2: folder 11
Loves of the puppets


Box 2: folder 12
Matthew VIII, 28ff


Box 2: folder 13
The mechanist


Box 2: folder 14
Merlin enthralled


Box 2: folder 15
The mill (see also "Speech for repeal of the McCarran Act")


Box 2: folder 16
A Miltonic sonnet for Mr. Johnson, on the occasion of his refusal of Peter Hurd's official portrait


Box 2: folder 17
Mind (see also "Lamarck elaborated")


Box 2: folder 18
Next door


Box 2: folder 19
October maples, Portland


Box 2: folder 20
On the marginal way


Box 2: folder 21
Parable - see "Easter sun"


Box : folder -
Piazza di Spagna - see Molière: Misanthrope - worksheets


Box : folder -
A plain song for comadre


Box 2: folder 22
A postcard for Bob Bly


Box 2: folder 23
The proof (includes page proof for Christmas card)
See also: "The lilacs"


Box 2: folder 24
The Ride


Box 2: folder 24a
Rillons, rillettes


Box 2: folder 25
Running


Box 2: folder 26
Seed leaves
See also: "The lilacs"


Box 2: folder 27
Shad-time


Box 2: folder 27a
Shame


Box 2: folder 28
She


Box 2: folder 29
Someone talking to himself


Box 2: folder 30
Speech for the repeal of the McCarran Act (also notes on "The Mill," and "Fall in Corrales")


Box 2: folder 31
Stop


Box 2: folder 32
A summer morning


Box 2: folder 33
The terrace


Box 2: folder 34
To Ishtar


Box 2: folder 35
Two quatrains for first frost


Box 2: folder 36
The undead


Box 2: folder 37
Under Cygnus (includes Christmas card with personal, handwritten note from Mrs. Wilbur)


Box 2: folder 38
A voice from under the table
See also: "Looking into history"


Box 2: folder 39
Walking to sleep


Box 2: folder 40
A Wall in the Woods: Cummington (TS with corrected photocopy)


Box 2: folder 40a
A wood


Box 2: folder 41
Ahkmatova, Anna


Box 2: folder 42
Aretino, Pietro


Box 2: folder 43
Baudelaire, Charles Pierre


Box 2: folder 44
Char, René


Box 2: folder 45
Du Bellay, Joachim


Box 2: folder 46
Guillen, Jorge


Box 2: folder 47
James, Francis


Box 2: folder 48
La Fontaine, Jean de


Box 2: folder 49
Orléans, Charles, duc d'


Box 2: folder 50
Pichette, Henri


Box 2: folder 51
Quasimodo, Salvatore


Box 2: folder 52
Valéry, Paul


Box 2: folder 53
Voznesensky, Andrei


Box 2: folder 54
Series 2: TRANSLATIONS AND ADAPTATIONS



Series 2, TRANSLATIONS AND ADAPTATIONS, is further organized into two sub-series:

A. Translations of Individual Poems, arranged alphabetically by poet.
B. Other Translations, namely of works by Molière and Renard.

Molière and Hofmannsthal: The bourgeois gentleman - narration to accompany the Boston Symphony performance of the Burger als Edelman by Richard Strauss


Box 3: folder 1
Renard, Jules: A romance - corrected typescript


Box 3: folder 2
Misanthrope - worksheets, mostly act V (also includes first draft of "Piazza di Spagna")


Box 3: folder 3
Misanthrope - typescript, setting copy


Box 3: folder 4
Tartuffe - worksheets, typescrpt, and proofs of introduction and front matter.


Box 3: folder 5
Tartuffe - Typescript (carbon)


Box 3: folder 5a
Tartuffe - worksheets for act II


Box 3: folder 6
Tartuffe - typescript, setting copy


Box 3: folder 7
Tartuffe - galley proofs


Box 3: folder 8
Tartuffe - worksheet of curtain verses written for opening night


Box 3: folder 9
Tartuffe - additional lines for Lincoln Center performance


Box 3: folder 10
Tartuffe - notes and drafts for article on the Lincoln Center performance


Box 3: folder 11
Tartuffe - "Instructions to the director of Tartuffe" (TS, 1 p.), contrasting with the Lincoln Center performance
ca. 1967-1969

Box 3: folder 11a
The Misanthrope and Tartuffe - (Harvest Book edition) - worksheets and draft of note to the Harvest edition


Box 3: folder 12
The Misanthrope and Tartuffe - (Harvest Book edition) - proofs of front matter and Tartuffe


Box 3: folder 13
Series 3: PROSE



Series 3, PROSE, includes essays, reviews, memorial notes, appreciations, etc., organized alphabetically by title or subject.

American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Institute of Arts and Letters, Proceedings of - corrected ms. of article, with accompanying TLS to Margaret Mills
1972 Apr-Sep

Box 3: folder 14
Arvin, Newton: Longfellow - worksheets for a review


Box 3: folder 15
"Blurbs" written by RW - list prepared by RW together with a proof of covers for R. Pau-Llosa's book Sorting Metaphors
1983

Box 3: folder 16
Essay on Milton's companion poems - worksheets, typescript, and proof


Box 3: folder 17
Essay on Poetry - manuscript draft


Box 3: folder 18
Frost, Robert - In the Clearing - drafts and typescript of review


Box 3: folder 19
Frost, Robert - Contribution to Robert Frost Commemorative Issue of the Amherst Student - worksheet and typescript


Box 3: folder 20
Hillyer, Robert - draft of a memorial note


Box 3: folder 21
Loudmouse: story outline, manuscript, and typescript; letter to Louis Untermeyer
1962 Jun 11

Box 3: folder 21a
Loudmouse: galleys for a new edition


Box 3: folder 21b
Lowell, Robert: "Skunk hour" - manuscript of commentary


Box 3: folder 22
The 1964 International Writers' Seminar at Lahti - notes, manuscript, and typescript of an article


Box 3: folder 23
The Poe mystery case - manuscript and typescript


Box 3: folder 24
A Poet and the movies - worksheets and typescript


Box 3: folder 25
Shakespeare's poems - all matter for an introduction


Box 3: folder 26
Series 4: LECTURES AND SPEECHES



Series 4, LECTURES AND SPEECHES, includes texts prepared by Wilbur for occasions of public speaking, including introductions of other speakers.

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters - Remarks by the Chancellor (i.e., RW)
1977 May 18

Box 4: folder 1
Bishop, Elizabeth - draft and text of introduction to her poetry reading


Box 4: folder 1a
Films - manuscript and typescript of a panel talk on experimental films


Box 4: folder 2
Frost, Robert - introduction to his talk


Box 4: folder 3
Frost Library, Amherst College - manuscript and typescript of talk at dedication


Box 4: folder 4
The house of Poe - manuscript of lecture


Box 4: folder 5
Lawrence College - manuscript, typescript, and printed copy of commencement address


Box 4: folder 6
Miller, Henry: Tropic of Cancer - draft of defense testimony


Box 4: folder 7
Nash, Ogden - introduction to his lecture


Box 4: folder 8
National book award acceptance speech - drafts and final text


Box 4: folder 9
On my own work - notes, manuscript, and typescript plus corrected proofs for publication


Box 4: folder 10
Poetry and happiness - manuscript of lecture


Box 4: folder 11
The present state of Whitman - notes, manuscript and typescript of talk


Box 4: folder 12
Roethke, Theodore - Manuscript and typescript of talk


Box 4: folder 13
Round about a poem of Housman's - notes, outline, manuscript, and partial typescript of lecture


Box 4: folder 14
A tribute to Andrei Voznesensky - prefatory remarks


Box 4: folder 15
Washington University - notes and typescript of commencement address


Box 4: folder 16
Wilbur bibliography - manuscript and carbon of introductory note


Box 4: folder 17
Series 5: CORRESPONDENCE



Arrangement:

Series 5 is correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent name.

Baird, Theodore
[ca. 1942]-1983

Box 4: folder 18
Berg, Steve (American Poetry Review), with TS of the poem "About Lying"
1982-1983

Box 4: folder 19
Brower, Reuben
1953 Feb 18

Box 4: folder 20
Catoggio, Nicholas (The Amherst Student)
1994 Nov 8

Box 4: folder 21
Clarke, Henry L.
1979-1984

Box 4: folder 22
Cole, William
1993 May 24

Box 4: folder 23
Cooper, Mr. [?]
1977 Jan 13

Box 4: folder 24
Craig, Armour
1943-1946

Box 4: folder 25
Gauthier, Mr. [?]
1998 Feb 20

Box 4: folder 26
Glick, G. Wayne (6 letters + replies)
1998-2005

Box 4: folder 27
Hagstrom, Jack W. C. - explaining a cartoon by RW that appeared in The Montclair Times, ca. 1936
1981 Aug

Box 4: folder 28
Lancaster, John
1987-2003

Box 4: folder 29
Law, Mark (Kolbourne School)
1982 Feb 18

Box 4: folder 30
Leekley, Richard
1968-1973

Box 4: folder 31
Little, John
1972 Mar 14

Box 4: folder 32
Murdoch, Eleanor
1960 Feb 29

Box 4: folder 33
Pringle, Roger (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust)
1977 Mar 28

Box 4: folder 34
Targ, [William]
1971

Box 4: folder 35
Toerien, Barend J. (translator of Wilbur poems into Afrikaans)
1962

Box 4: folder 36
Untermeyer, Louis - concerning an anthology, Modern American and Modern British Poetry, Shorter Revised Edition (1955), on which Wilbur and Karl Shapiro served as editorial "consultants" with Untermeyer
1954-1955

Box 4: folder 37
Wright, Stuart (Palaemon Press)
1980-1985

Box 4: folder 38
Series 6: MISCELLANEOUS



Series 6, MISCELLANEOUS, includes light verse, an answer to a questionnaire, a statement of political activities.

Light verse on a frog
1968 Feb 12

Box 4: folder 39
Answer to questionnaire published in DELOS
1968 Jan-Feb

Box 4: folder 40
Political activities
1967-1968

Box 4: folder 41
Three drawings by Wilbur - caricatures of T. W. White IV, Prof. Oscar Schotté, and Prof. Laurence Packard (Gift of Thomas H. White AC 1941)
ca. 1940-1941

Box 4: folder 42
Biographical chronology of RW - photocopy with manuscript corrections by RW
[1984]

Box 4: folder 43

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Poets, American -- 20th century -- Sources.
  • Translators -- United States| -- Sources.
  • Wilbur, Richard, 1921-

Contributors
  • Amherst College. Class of 1942. Wilbur.


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