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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 "A Courtyard Thaw," "A Simile for Her Smile," "Altitudes," "Love Calls Us To The Things of This World," "Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning," "After the Last Bulletins," "Merlin Enthralled," "A Voice From Under the Table," "For the New Railway Station in Rome," "Foggy Street," "Two Voices in a Meadow," "Ballade for the Duke of L'Orleans," "In the Smoking Car," "Shame," and "The Undead," as well as "Foggy Street," a translation from the Russian of Andrei Voznesensky, and three 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 The Misanthrope and Voltaire's Candide. In the process of reading his own work, Wilbur offers a few anecdotes, explaining that "A Courtyard Thaw" is keyed to Harvard University's Adams House and that "A Similie for Her Smile" is keyed to Gloucester's Blynman Canal Drawbridge, while also reminiscing on the Roman settings of several poems read here ("Altitudes," "Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning," and "For the New Railway Station in Rome"), and recalling his time spent as a State Department delegate to Russia in connection with the poem "After the Last Bulletins." 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


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Artistic Influences
Poetry readings (Sound recordings)
Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
United States Poet Laureate
Art and Science
Cambridge, Massachusetts
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,” 04/16/1964, GBH Archives, accessed December 7, 2021,
MLA: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur.” 04/16/1964. GBH Archives. Web. December 7, 2021. <>.
APA: Poetry from M.I.T.; Richard Wilbur. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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