Posts filed under ‘Richard Wilbur’


Richard Wilbur

Listen (to Hoon read)

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there,
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest of intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

Hoon writes,

If you’re a teacher, or someone looking for a poem to recommend to some young ‘un, or class, just learning to recite, this is certainly a good one to consider. Humorous, with its made-up word, intellection, it is self-referential, demonstrating in its own intellectual word play, the very moral it wants to convey, the joy of recreational thought. Its mocking, lecturing tone, gives the young reciter a firm idea of a pose to aim-for.

(Bat sounds courtesy of


June 15, 2007 at 10:38 pm 1 comment