In “The Ride,” I like the way Richard Wilbur says he’s (the speaker of the poem) riding a horse without saying it, “The horse beneath me seemed.” He gives the horse credit for giving him a pleasant ride, “thanks/To the veils of this patient breath/And the mist of sweat from his flanks.” I like the way Wilbur describes the ride, “At a quick, unstumbling trot/Through shattering vacancies.” He also describes the weather, “Till the weave of the storm grew thin.” I noticed the rhyme scheme he uses, ABAB, “…now get back/…where he stands/…with every lack/…the stable-hands.” The last stanza seems as if the speaker made a discovery on the horse–he appreciates the horse more now, “To give him, before I think /That there was no horse at all.”
In “Playboy,” Wilbur writes about a young boy, maybe between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, “The stock-boy sits.” The speaker talks about what is the boy’s curiosity in looking through a playboy magazine, “What so engrosses?/The wild décor/Of this pink-papered…” And it’s interesting the way Wilbur writes about the naked girls in the magazine without saying the word naked or nude, “The subject matter of one glossy page/As lost in curves…” I noticed Wilbur use of rhyme, he rhymes the first and the last line, and a couplet in the middle in each stanza, “…kneeling in a supple pose/…in her farther hand/…toast a flower-stand/an exploding rose.” I like the details he writes about her skin, “…of her floodlit skin, so sleek and warm.”
In the “Writer,” Wilbur makes the readers feel there’s a connection between the dad and the daughter, “But now it is she who pauses/As if to reject my thought…” It seems as if the daughter’s writing behavior affects the whole family, “The whole house seems to be thinking/And then she is at it again…” I suspect that the mother was a struggling writer herself, “And iridescent creature/…drop like a glove/…humped and bloody/For the wits to try it again…”
In “Mayflies,” Wilbur instead of saying “sunset” or “getting dark,” he says, “…when the sun was low.” I notice how he describes the stars, “With sudden glittering–as when a crowd/Of stars appear.” Also, I like the way he describes a cloud, “Through a brief gap in black and driven cloud.” I noticed that Wilbur uses two different rhyme schemes, he rhymes the first and last line with a couplet in the middle, and then uses the ABAB in a stanza, “…lifelong dancers of a day/[…I felt myself alone/…much my own]/…separateness than they/[…been called to be/…fly or star/…joyfully to see/…of the caller are,” ABAB]. I like the fact that Wilbur used two different rhyme schemes in the same stanza –variation.