Thursday, May 20, 2021

The House

The House

Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.

What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow's walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.

Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.

-Richard Wilbur

I Googled a while looking for a picture of an appropriate house, but didn't have any luck. The picture is from Wilbur's book of poems for children Opposites.  

Richard Wilbur wrote this for his late wife Charlotte. It first appeared in The New Yorker in August of 2009, then was collected in his final volume, Anterooms, of 2010. He himself passed away in 2017.

Poem for a Thursday was originated by Jennifer at Holds Upon Happiness. Her poem for today is here. Brona sometimes joins in and did today


  1. Cape Cod? dunnow about the fanlight, though...

    1. Wilbur is a New Englander, so Cape Cod or somewhere up there. But the fanlight was odd. I somehow think of that as 70s suburban development. I don't suppose a dream house has to be consistent, though...

  2. Aw, that's nice. I hope they are now together in her house with the widow's walk and white gatepost.

    1. I do, too! He seemed to be so sweet on his wife.

  3. It's a great poem. But sad.

  4. This is the first time to your blog and it's looking fab! Love how clean it looks and yeah, finding perfect graphics can be