Friday, November 6, 2009

Interviewer: Let me conclude by asking your reaction to a comment which William Meredith made about you. He said that you "obviously believe the universe is decent, in the lovely, derivative sense of that word."

Richard Wilbur: Well, yes. To put it simply, I feel the universe is full of glorious energy, that the energy tends to take pattern and shape, and that the ultimate character of things is comely and good. I am perfectly aware that I say this in the teeth of all sorts of contrary evidence, and that I must be basing it partly on temperament and partly on faith, but that is my attitude. My feeling is that when you discover order and goodness in the world, it is not something you are imposing - it is something which is likely really to be there, whatever crumminess and evil and disorder there may also be. I don't take disorder or meaninglessness to be the basic character of things.

William Butts, Conversations with Richard Wilbur, 190-91.


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