Buried strangeness

Mayflies: New Poems and Translations, by Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur, a former poet laureate and winner of the National Book Award, two Pulitzer Prizes and every other major literary award this country offers, is arguably America's greatest living poet. That he is also a poet with a theology is a well-kept secret among critics. A lay reader in the Episcopal Church, Wilbur has said that most of what he knows of scripture comes through exposure to the Book of Common Prayer. He has claimed that despite "sometimes happily think[ing] and feel[ing] within the terms of Anglican liturgy," he is not actually very "catechistic."


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