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Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur

Part of From the Vault. Part of Nine Poets Walk Into An Institute of Technology.


In this recording, one of several poetry readings and talks from M.I.T. that aired on WGBH in 1963, Richard Wilbur reads a series of original poems including "Seed Leaves," "A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra," "Beasts," an excerpt from "Looking Into History," "Two Quatrains for First Frost," "Ballade for the Duke of L'Orleans," "Junk," "The Lilacs," "The Proof," and Complaint," as well as translations from the French, including a poem from Francis Jammes titled "A Prayer to Go to Paradise with the Donkeys" and selections from Molière's Tartuffe and Voltaire's Candide. In a brief introduction, Wilbur is celebrated as a poet of felicity, rather than curiosa, cunningness, or contrivance, and congratulated on winning the Bollingen Prize in Translation for his translation of Molière's Tartuffe. In the process of reading his own work, Wilbur offers a few anecdotes, noting in particular that his "Seed Leaves" draws the impetus for its first two lines from the final two lines of Frost's "Putting in the Seed," and giving some details surrounding his practice as a translator. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Jim Cocola.

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Poetry from M.I.T.
Richard Wilbur
Series Description

Radio series. Series release date: 1963

Program Description




Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


United States Poet Laureate
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Artistic Influences
Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Poetry readings (Sound recordings)
Art and Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Performance for a Live Audience
Event Coverage
Wilbur, Richard, 1921- (Speaker)
Publication Information
Posted with permission provided by Richard Wilbur
Chicago: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur,” 11/03/1963, GBH Archives, accessed June 18, 2024,
MLA: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur.” 11/03/1963. GBH Archives. Web. June 18, 2024. <>.
APA: Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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