Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine — we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

55 responses to “Richard Cory

  1. Such a mind-blowing poem. Everyone looked up Richard because he was wealthy and seemed like a great mind. Even in public Richard walked as if nothing was wrong, but deep inside there was some type of emptiness. Nothing all his money could cure, which led him to his own death.

  2. Richard Cory was a weak willed man. If he was so tired of his life he should of changed it. Things can always get better as long as your alive to make it happen.

  3. Richard Cory was a person that everyone admired no matter what. We are briefly told the story of his life and it’s a shock to find out that he committed suicide. This poem is a perfect example of how money doesn’t buy happiness.

  4. Perfect poem to convey the message that money does not buy happiness. For Richard Cory, he had it all and yet he still couldn’t find solace within himself. It just goes to show that different people have their own idealistic view on the quality of life. Sadly. he kills himself in the quest to finding what he truly wanted. I think that it teaches us a great lesson, that despite wealth and a seemingly great life on the outside, one can’t truly assume that they are happy. Even the people that you think have it all together, might be suffering the most. It is something to keep in mind before you judge another person.

  5. Cory had it all, he had money, he had fame, he had all the materialistic goods he could hoped for, but there was someting missing, and that something was clearly important. Wealth and fame does not equate to happiness, Cory needed something else. Even though it seemed that he had no troubles because of his outward appearance, people couldn’t see that he was hiding depression on the inside. And this is true to many people in our world today. They may seem ok, but on the inside they are suffering.

  6. I believe this theme goes towards the entertainers/comedians of the entertainment industry. They can earn all the money they want, or have as many possessions as they want, but they will always be missing something in their life. They will have an outward appearance that makes people smile or puts people in a good mood. However, what they don’t know is that on the inside, they are depressed. For what reason, we , the fans/audience, have no idea. We have no idea how they are doing. We have no idea whether they are truly happy or not. They are unsatisfied.

  7. This sad story reminds me of the recent Robin Williams’ suicide incident. Many celebrities may to have everything: fame, money, popularity and influence, but along the way, they seem to have higher standard of achieving happiness. What one already has does not necessarily make him or her happy and content, it is often the non-material things that they don’t posses bother these rich and famous people the most.

  8. It seems that Richard was unsatisfied with his life. He did possess wealth, status and education. However, this is simply not enough. I have reached a similar point at peak in a videogame. This game is not a simple videogame, it is similar to the real world in that it takes hard work and ingenuity to achieve one’s goals. There are close to thirty skills that each level have a maximum of lvl 99 with one exception. These skills individually take years to level up. There is also an economic side to this game as money makes the game much easier. The skills here are like an education in real life, and each player has a status in the game. You can be uneducated and be labeled as noob, or be poor. The rich in this game are very distinct from all others and the people with skills are also very distinct from others as the game really emphasizes by giving the skillers special rewards and the rich are decorated with ridiculously expensive items. I have played this game since 2004 and I am at a point where there is nothing more to do. The game feels empty now and starting all over would be much more ideal. I have learned a lot thanks to this game and applied it to the real world, so it is very worthwhile as it is a safe enviroment where I can make mistakes and learn from them. All in all I achieved those accomplishments in a game, but Richard did it in real life where there is no restart button. Im lead to the conclusion that he has a void that cannot be fillled. This poem does not really give me more information as to why else, other than what I can specualte.

  9. Sad tragedy. You can see someone on the outsid, they may look like they have everything, look like everything is great. But on the inside, it’s a different story.

  10. This poem had a meaningful message. It expresses how a person with wealth and power can have a huge burden on them. Its impressive how many people can put up a front, when they are emotionally depressed or are going through something, which sadly it does happen.

  11. I think there’s a lot of people that do not let other people know that anything is wrong with them. People that are dealing with the most internally seem the most happiest and are great people. And in my family the one person that always seemed happy and would always be able to make my family happy just being around her, and she was one of those people that just made doing nothing fun. No one knew what she was dealing with, not her husband, kids, no one until one day she couldn’t take it anymore and left all of us confused and heartbroken.

  12. It is wise to be content in the situation you’re in. Do not be envious of others even though it looks like they have everything you could possibly desire. There is more to our human experience than excessive material gain. “These three things remain: Faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”

  13. this is a poem that shows how money cannot but happiness. it sucks that even though with all wealth and success he still chooses to end his life. just goes to show that money can truly not buy happiness.

  14. Money is not the key to happiness let me tell you. Actually the more money people have the more problems they have. Money makes situations worse. Ive seen people hurt their friends and family over money.

  15. This poem shows a wealthy man that can buy anything he desires. However, this man is missing a vital component in life. All that he may have wanted was a true human connection with somebody. In the end, this poem goes to show that money may not be the ultimate happiness in one’s life.

  16. Goes to show how money, fame, cars, and houses can mean nothing at the end of the day. What really makes a person happy? Content with who you are and what you have in life, emotionally (love, relationships, family) and physically. Many people seem to be happy on the outside but end up being miserable in life. Sad story.

  17. This poem was very interesting to me because it talked about Richard Cory and what kind of person he was and how he was very wealthy. But he wasn’t happy with the lifestyle he was living and towards the end of the poem the narrator states “on one summer night” and how in an instant Richard wanted to take his own life because he wasn’t satisfied. But one thing in life a person can’t buy is love and happiness everyone needs love and happiness because without that no one will know how to be happy and how to love and be loved.

  18. You never know when someone is thinking about taking their life until it is too late. It is amazing that this poem is on the website when we just had a presentation on mental health issues yesterday. It could look like people have the world but deep down they are depressed for example Robin Williams; funny man that had money and fame but was infected with the disease of depression and took his life. The morale of this poem is don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  19. I like this one the best so far
    Though it is short, it is very powerful
    We never know what a person is going through. just because a person puts on a smile or has everything doesn’t mean that they are happy
    We see this everyday with celebrities who have much fame and fortune
    yet end up committing suicide.
    sometimes even the expectations that the world holds us to can be overbearing
    someone who is always smiling probably spends alot of time behind doors crying
    it’s very unfortunate the the world we live in today is so self-centered that even when a person does express or show signs of sadness it gets ignored

  20. This poem hits the heart. I lost a huge part of my childhood recently with Robin Williams death. Who would have ever guessed him to be depressed. When I read about Richard Cory I just kept thinking of Mr. Williams. So many people could have sworn he was the happiest man alive and yet he was the one to do the dirty deed. Great poem.

  21. This is a story that many should have the pleasure to read. With all its truth and the message of this young man. This story actually represents a lot of people today. As we can see, money does not make the person, it is the person that makes the person. My father taught me and my siblings about the window. The window is not actually a window, it is a metaphor for reality. The window represents, the lives that we all live. My dad would always say, (looking through someone’s window) whether they have money or not. You will see that, we all have the same problems. Money does not make mental problems go away, nor does it keep people from dying. The message in this story about this young man is what? With all his money, still he killed himself. The happiness lies within us, not within money.

  22. It just goes to show you that money isn’t everything. It cannot buy happiness, even though many people desire it. Many rich people have become bitter and do not achieve what they want in life. Some of them will be pleasant happy people, but most will wither away and leave people wishing they were them.

    • I could not agree with you more on this Ian. It really makes me happy to see that there are still people like you around who are not motivated by money. Thanks for the comment. Maria Jones 1B

  23. Success and wealth are not what allow people to enjoy life. He may have inherited another man’s dream, not his own and took his life because he felt trapped.

  24. Ok, i did not expect that ending. Well at least i know that money cannot buy you happiness. I do not think committing suicide is the answer to everything. With that much of money, he could helps million of people.

  25. This poem goes to show that a person never knows what is happening to another person behind closed doors. Celebrities are a perfect example. We often look up to celebrities and even envy them in one way or another because we think their lives are perfect and glamours when in reality their not. Simply consider all those celebrities who seem to have it all, but often turn to drugs, alcohol or suicide.

  26. While walking we see fresh faces. We look at them and they all have expression in their faces. Most of the strangers walking among us look just fine. They seem not to have a single problem. At least that is what we think. This poem is powerful due to the message that it gives. The author states that a person might look great in the outside but in the inside their lives can be a mess. The poem implies that there are sad, discourage and hopeless people that suffer in silence. This people do not usually show their real faces to the world. This poem totally made me appreciate myself and my life more. It is incredible to know that I am in control of my own life and that I am able to stand up more times than the times I fall.

  27. This poem is very powerful , it teaches us that we should never want to live another pero an life because they can actually be living a bad life underneath it all. This poem made me sad because there are many hopeless lonely people that are suffering in silence , that depression many times leads to suicides . I learned to never want to be anyone else because we are in control of our lives and we have to make the best out of it .

  28. Like they say money isn’t everything and i guess that was the case for Richard Cory. I think there is two things to be taken from this poem, the first is that wealth and status count for nothing if you are not happy. The other is that people should be careful for what they wish for, because if you were Richard Cory you would has the money and the fame but also you would have to live the unhappiness and sorrow.

  29. Richard Cory’s character in this poem is someone that everyone admired no matter what. They admired him for who he was, but there was an aspect that everyone seemed to focus on, which is his wealth. Once hearing that Richard Cory committed suicide at the end of the poem, it triggers a shock for the reader. The element of surprise at the end of this story is what makes it interesting. We’re briefly told of the life he lived, and we’re left with the fact that he killed himself at the end which is something more interesting and exciting than coming to a slow close to the story.

  30. this proves how judging something based off of appearance is wrong. everyone thought that Richard Cory was the perfecta genuine man, the one that had the glamour the popularity and the dollars. those people made the mistake of judging him off of straight appearance and that is what left everyone in shock. no one knew what he is going trough, and this is why people should be so quick to judge other because one might not know the situation those people are currently place in.

  31. This is tragically powerful. He is in a position where everyone wishes they were him. He is well off with everything he can imagine but he is obviously missing something he can’t live without. He takes his life in search if it.

  32. This makes me want to be more considerate about what other people are going through, and to be a good listener. Genuine conversation is so refreshing, and even the simplest of conversations, or a kind gesture…kind words, a smile, can be a life-saver. We should never assume

  33. Money can become good at hiding emotions as you can tell by reading this poem, because while everyone looks at what Richard is wearing, how divinely he carries himself they never question whether he’s actually happy. It teaches us that we shouldn’t want the life of someone else, but instead be graceful of the life we are given, because happiness is worth more than what a millionaire thinks he can buy with money.

  34. A man with power and money can very possibly be sadder than one who earns minimum wage. Money can be nice, but it does not automatically make someone happy. This poem also shows that not everyone who is unhappy is showing it. Sometimes the ones who are the unhappiest can put on a mask and present themselves in a way where no one would really know what’s going on deep inside.

  35. This poem goes to show how not everything is what it seems. No matter how rich or poor people are everyone has their own struggles they face even though they might not show it. Money doesn’t buy happiness and this poem clearly demonstrates that by showing that sometimes the happiness is just a mask people wear.

  36. The thesis of this poem is that money can’t buy you happiness. Happiness is the most important thing in life. You can have all the money and materialistic items in the world but if you’re not happy, all those luxuries are pointless.

  37. The moral of the poem is money does not buy happiness. One never know the other’s problems nor sorrows regardless of economic status.

  38. I was going along with the poem. It seemed pretty normal and nice. It seemed like this man had a very happy life, but then it contains a wicked twist towards the end that not even myself expected! I guess I can say that there are many people who seem perfectly fine while walking on the streets and greeting people. However, we do not know what they are truly going through. They can literally be having a harsh life while putting on a fake smile.

  39. Great poem with an unexpected twist. I think the message Richard Cory is trying to convey is not just the point that money itself cannot bring happiness, but that however happy or well off a person may seem, they could be dealing with issues that make their life a lot less desirbable than it may seem.

  40. I really enjoyed this poem. Particularly because I can relate to it at this very moment. As I struggle trying to pay for school working 3 jobs with a broken vehicle, I curse the people who are paying $1600 on concert tickets or buying materialistic items. The difference is, in this poem and song… Richard Cory was clearly unhappy with how he was living his life. It makes me wonder if the people who seem so happy and satisfied with their wealth, are actually “happy.”

  41. This poem shows how even though someone may seem cheery, happy, and nice on the outside doesn’t mean mean they’re the same way. People cover up their emotions with a false smile.

  42. Wow this poem really really spoke to me because i thought money would make you happen but in reality it doesnt. Everyone comes to america to have that dream of getting money and earn a lot more but that is not what makes you happy but what really makes you happy is being with your love ones and living life to the fullest.

    • One thing is for certain, that money alone can’t make you happy. You have to start being happy about yourself first then having the money and the fame will be icing on the cake.

  43. This wonderful poem seems to be less about Richard Cory than it is about those who watched, admired and were mystified by his unexpected exit.

  44. i think that this poem teaches a lesson that everybody should hear. thats because no matter how much you have that doesnt mean youre truely happy.

  45. Sometimes a person may have it all but in reality they don’t have it all, they might have all the money in the world but the most important thing is HAPINESS and to me it seemed like he didn’t have it. Money can’t buy happiness. This poem was really interesting because it relates to most celebrities who unexpectedly commit suicide.

  46. The words of this poem remind me of all of those Hollywood celebrities (junkies) that over indulged in every mundane pleasure, and end up committing suicide.

  47. When people seem to have every worldly possession they may still lack the happiness that comes about with a spiritual life with God.

  48. this poem shows that even people that seem to have everything isnt the true way to happiness. If you already have everything you could want or have, what do you have to live for.

  49. This is a great poem. It tells that richness is not in the pockets but in the mind and in the heart of the individual.

  50. its crazy when life is going so well for you, and they do not like themselves or aren’t happy enough and just end everything unaware of how people will feel afterwards, quite selfish if you ask me and shocking because this happens all the time, money can’t truly make you happy only make things easier.

  51. This poem makes me wonder why would someone with so much money and popularity kill themselves? If life is so terrible then change it. all the money in the world allows a person the opportunity to be ones self without many consequences. I hear people complain about having to act a certain way. They only act that way to get money. If they already have money and they plan to kill themself why dont they just act and be how they want to be to be happy.

  52. I didnt expect that ending. This shows that even though a person may seem to have everything that someone would dream to have, you don’t know what thier life is like, or what they are going through every day. Money doesn’t buy happiness, which is what Richard Cory was lacking, and for that he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

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