a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please untick here if you DO NOT wish us to contact you about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

Loading the player... If you can't see this video please get the Flash Player.


Poetry readings: opposites poems and playful poems


Poetry readings: A Late Aubade
Richard Wilbur Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments
This poem, "A Late Aubade" derives of course from my marriage. An aubade as we know is a- is an early morning amorous poem or song. This is a late obard because a man is speaking to his wife in bed at about 11:45 in the morning. "A Late Aubade"
You could be sitting now in a carrel
Turning some liver-spotted page, 
Or rising in an elevator-cage 
Towards Ladies' Apparel. 

You could be planting a raucous bed 
of salvia, in rubber gloves, 
Or lunching through a screed of someone's loves 
With pitying head, 

Or making some unhappy setter 
Heel, or listening to a bleak 
Lecture on Schoenberg's serial technique. 
Isn't this better? 

Think of all the time you were not 
Wasting, and would not care to waste, 
Such things, thank God, not being to your taste. 
Think what a lot 

Of time, by woman's reckoning, 
You've saved, and so may spend on this, 
You, who would rather lie in bed and kiss 
Than anything. 

It's almost noon, you say? If so, 
Time flies, and I need not rehearse 
The rosebuds-theme of centuries of verse. 
If you  must  go, 

Wait for a while, then slip downstairs 
And bring us up some chilled white wine, 
And some blue cheese and crackers, and some fine 
Ruddy-skinned pears.
That's been approved of by quite a number of people, but I remember its being disapproved of by feminists a few years back. They felt that the man in the poem ought to get out of bed and go downstairs and bring up the cheese and, and the rest.

Acclaimed US poet Richard Wilbur has published many books and has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is less well known for creating a musical version of Voltaire's “Candide” with Bernstein and Hellman which is still produced throughout the world today.

Listeners: David Sofield

David Sofield is the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught the reading and writing of poetry since 1965. He is the co-editor and a contributor to Under Criticism (1998) and the author of a book of poems, Light Disguise (2003).

Tags: A Late Aubade

Duration: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008