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Saturday, October 7, 2017


Here is another likely source for a passage in Bialosky's book--one not noted by Logan:

The poem describes a person who is wealthy, well educated, mannerly, and admired by the people in his town. 
The song "Richard Cory", written by Paul Simon and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel for their second studio album, Sounds of Silence, was based on this poem. 
 At his death, many critics[who?] considered Robinson the greatest poet in the United States. He is now best remembered for his short poems characterizing various residents of Tilbury Town, which was based on his hometown, Gardiner, Maine. A quiet, introverted man, Robinson never married and became legendary for his reclusiveness.  (wikipedia entry on "Richard Cory.") 

Bialosky writes:

The poem describes a wealthy, educated gentleman who is admired by his community. 
It is no wonder that the poem endures nearly a century after it first appeared, adapted into a song by Paul Simon, and that its maker, Edgar Arlington Robinson--himself a quiet, introspective, reclusive man--was considered one of the greatest poets in America at the time of his death.  

I suspect that there are many other passages in her book that are cribbed from wikipedia, beyond what Logan found. This is a borderline case that might not qualify as full-blown plagiarism. What interests me here is the general badness of the scholarship. She states that a poem published in the 1890s is a product of "the Great Depression" and says that the poem has lasted nearly a century after its appearance!  She calls the poem a ballad (it is not).

Encylopedias are sources of first resort. We go there first if we don't know anything. Then we find better sources.  And seriously, if you cannot do a simply summary of a poem without echoing this banal wiki, you shouldn't be writing about poetry.  Almost everything of substance in her comments on this poem is taken from the first thing you might google about this poem, including the Simon and Garfunkel song.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

Wikipedia! Of all places to plagiarize from. Sheesh. I'd be embarrassed.