It is the juxtaposition of this old, highly rigid, formulated, classical style with this very modern, personal subject matter that continues to intrigue readers of Robinson's works to this day. This next poem, considered by some to be Robinson's finest work, is a perfect example of this conflict of form and content, and how it melds to form Robinson's singular poetic style.
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
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On the other hand, the content of the poem is as harsh and radical as the form is classical and neat. The poem is basically an extended description of a man, a very rich, successful man, named Richard Cory. The narrator of the poem spends a full three quarters, the first three stanzas, of the poem doing nothing but genuinely praising this man. He paints this Richard Cory as the envy of all those around him, the object of everyone's attention as "we people on the pavement looked at him". He refers to Cory as a "gentleman from sole to crown", and even uses language that sounds suited to describe royalty when he calls Cory "Clean favored, and imperially