Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Anterooms” as Want to Read:
Anterooms
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Anterooms

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Poetry lovers and critics will rejoice at the news of this collection from Richard Wilbur, the legendary poet and translator who was called “a hero to a new generation of critics” by the New York Times Book Review, and whose work continues to be masterful, accomplished, whimsical, fresh, and important.

A yellow-striped, green measuring worm opens Anterooms, a collection fil
...more
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published November 12th 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 29th 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Anterooms, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Anterooms

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 125)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
averybiird
Jun 03, 2014 averybiird rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to averybiird by: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac
Shelves: to-order, poetry
I first heard Richard Wilbur’s A Pasture Poem being recited on a radio program a couple years ago. I remember how much I loved this poem about the life and waning of a Thistle and recently went searching for it. After several false starts that kept ending at Edna St. Vincent Millay’s A Few Figs from Thistles (a delightful detour, as it turns out), I at last located the poem here as part of Anterooms.

Here is a link to listen to the poem being read aloud (it begins at 3:20):

A Pasture Poem



“Summer
...more
Richard Barager
DIALOGUE WITH THE DEAD

When death puts an end to a marriage of long duration—30, 40, 50 years or more—the sense of loss experienced by the surviving spouse can be overwhelming. They suffer a paralyzing, disorienting, emotionally jarring type of grief, intense and long lasting. Some stop eating and lose weight; others become confused, prone to wandering, no destination in mind. Suffering so profound it makes one look away, a cri de coeur too tender to witness. So forlorn can they be, it is not unu
...more
Don
Oct 16, 2014 Don rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry, us
My first exposure to this US poetry legend. Nice translations as well as original work. Especially enjoyed his translations of riddles by Symphosius. Sample:

My head is large, but what's within are small.
I've one leg only, but it's very tall.
Sleep loves me, but I get no sleep at all.

Of his original works, I particularly connected with one entitled "A Reckoning" which appeared in the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/200... )"

A Reckoning

At my age, one begins
To chalk up all his sins,
Hop
...more
Therese
Consider first the title of this book. In what sense can an esteemed major poet who has written/translated more than 30 books of poetry and prose (some intended for children) be winding down his illustrious career with "anterooms"? Perhaps this entire book is the waiting room for a hypothetical Complete Collected Works. Indeed, several of these poems are tinged with awareness of mortality, backward glances, regret, sadness. Or perhaps each section in this book is an anteroom preceding a more imp ...more
Jsavett1
I just finished this collection by going back and reading its first poem, "House" and I'm nearly in tears both because that poem is heartbreaking and because I'm through with this too short collection. After having been disappointed with Stephen Dunn's newest poems and a collection by Robert Pinsky that I thought was pretty lightweight, I am so pleased to see that Wilbur is still writing just beautiful, smart, intuitive, inventive, and honestly, fun verse. Wilbur's word choice is always brillian ...more
Derek Emerson
Wilbur is clearly one of America's leading poets and this small collection of poems, translations, and even riddle translations could only come from a writer comfortable with his spot in the literary world. Wilbur's poems are strong and hopeful, leaving this reader wishing for more. There is some discontinuity with the translations, but I doubt they would sell on their so perhaps that explains the package.
Jen
This book was published in Wilbur's 89th year, which is amazing. It's a book that struggles a bit to be 60 pages, but what's included is telling and indicative of Wilbur's career. He hasn't stopped being a poet in the fullest scope. There are the accomplished poems we expect, and a short section of translations and lastly a short section of riddles and light verse.

The first poem in the book, "The House," is practically worth the price of admission and can be viewed on poets.org: http://www.poets
...more
Carol Bachofner
Phenomenal book! Another winner by my favorite poet!
Josh
Jan 30, 2011 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Part of me thinks I might give this one a full five-star rating if only it were a bit longer-- there's not a single word within it that's out of place, but, at 37 pages, it's all too brief. Then again, the brevity is probably just a function of the author's humility and powerful economy, two of the greatest virtues of these poems. This is the work of a poet at play: He includes some wonderful translations of ancient Latin poems, which are remarkably seamless with his originals, and even ends his ...more
Mia Tryst
One of this century's best formal poets, hands down. His meter is so seamless and masterful, that the poems never feel rhyme-driven or cleverly-contrived. They're skillful precision. Breathless work from Wilbur. Sample Poem:

A Measuring Worm

This yellow-striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It's as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn't know it,
He will soo
...more
Bookwyrmgyrl
Jun 07, 2011 Bookwyrmgyrl added it
Shelves: poetry
Just finished this - my first book of Richard Wilbur's poems.

I really liked "The House", and "A Measure Worm".

In "Galveston, 1961" I really liked the final image where he wrote:

"Whom droplets of the sea
Emboss and magnify."

Also, while I liked the whole poem "Ecclesiastes 11:1", I especially liked the ending stanza:

"Betting crust and crumb
That birds will gather, and that
One more spring will come."

My favorite in the whole book was his "A Pasture Poem" about the thistle - just really great!
Tyler Jones
If I had more of a classical education I'm sure I would appreciate these poems even more but I think it is Wilbur's genius that he creates poems that are accessible and humorous without ever dumbing it down.

I see a fellow Goodreader gave it four stars due to the slimness of the volume and while I am tempted to do the same I will also give one bonus star for rhyming "cockily" and "broccoli".

Bravo.
Sarah
I do read and enjoy rhymed and metered verse, but much of this felt sing-songy to me. While the language wasn't forced, it didn't sound completely natural to me, either. I enjoyed the translation "Thirty-seven Riddles from Symphosius" most, as the language used was quite clever and economical--a challenge in any translation but in a riddle in particular.
Cooper Renner
Wilbur's skill with formal verse is unabated, and the poems are pleasant reading, though rarely of any great depth. A sunny outlook on life with a fine sense of music. [Just finished reading the book a second time. Again the impression is no great depth, but the conversational skill of the formal verse is smart, subtle and sly.)
Will
Jun 20, 2011 Will rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Some nicely done rhyming poetry, with riddles as well, but I wish I was famous enough to include blank pages in my manuscript. All poems start on the recto, and only a few creep onto the following even-numbered page. What's there is good, but it's a book of poems on every other page.
Caroline
4 stars because the 3 great poems in this book are just that great -- Galveston, 1961, gosh.

But for this space's small purposes:

Terza Rima

In this great form, as Dante proved in Hell
There is no dreadful thing that can't be said
In passing.
Caroline
"The House", the first poem in the collection, was so fantastic that I thought this was going to blow me away. After that, there were a few strong works, but none that moved me significantly.
Alex Pepple
This is simply the best collection I've read in quite a long time. From Wilbur's themes, to his masterful translations to his exquisite formal craft, this is simply the work of a master.
Kirk
This small book of poems carries massive depths of enjoyment. Wilbur is a master wordsmith, and Anterooms is evidence of his skill and wisdom.
Laurie
Couldn't have been happier with his latest edition. Many of them reflect on memories with his wife and the approaching inevitability of death.
Talkingtowalls
A handful of really brilliant work (Trismegistus for one) but not my favorite compilation
Leonard
A pleasant mix of poems for children as well as adults and even some riddles.
Aaron Cummings
Wonderful poetry. I heartily recommend.
Lori
Lori marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
29836
Early years :

Wilbur was born in New York City and grew up in North Caldwell, New Jersey.He graduated from Montclair High School in 1938, having worked on the school newspaper as a student there. He graduated from Amherst College in 1942 and then served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. After the Army and graduate school at Harvard University, Wilbur taught at Wesleya
...more
More about Richard Wilbur...
Collected Poems, 1943-2004 New and Collected Poems The Poems Of Richard Wilbur Mayflies The Disappearing Alphabet

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »