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Richard Eberhart (Richard Ghormley Eberhart)

Richard Ghormley Eberhart was an American poet


  • For Eberhart, "Poetry is like the mystery of the world . . . . It is spiritual and it is sensuous and in its sensuous meshes the spirit is caught as in a thicket ...." At its best his work achieves this synthesis of mystery and reality. In "The Groundhog," the poet periodically returns to the decaying remains of a groundhog. After three years the carcass has finally vanished. The poet is stunned by this object lesson in life's ultimate reduction to nothingness, a fate almost impossible to comprehend when he thinks of man's greatness and glory, of

    ... Alexander in his tent;

    Of Montaigne in his tower,

    Of Saint Theresa in her wild lament.

    Eberhart was born in Austin, Minn., Apr. 5, 1904. He studied at several universities, including Dartmouth, where he taught poetry from 1956 until his retirement in 1970. He founded The Poet's Theatre in Cambridge, Mass., and served as Consultant in Poetry and Honorary Consultant in American Letters to the Library of Congress. He is among only a handful of American poets who have won the Bollingen Prize (1962); the Pulitzer Prize (1966), for his Selected Poems, 1930-1965; and, for his Collected Poems, 1930-1976, the National Book Award (1977). The Long Reach: New and Uncollected Poems, 1948-1983 was published in 1984.

  • Education

    • In 1933 he joined the faculty of St. Mark's School, a boys' school, located in Massachusetts.

      Eberhart also taught at Dartmouth College. Jay Parini, a professor at Middlebury College and a former colleague of Eberhart's, told the Los Angeles Times, "I saw so many poets come through his door and seek him out. He was a poet of real achievement."

      Cambridge University, he entered Harvard University for postgraduate work, but only stayed for a year.

      the University of Washington, Brown University, Swarthmore College, Tufts University, Trinity College, University of Connecticut, Columbia University, University of Cincinnati, Wheaton College, Princeton University .


    • Though Eberhart strongly wanted a career in poetry, it did not pay the bills, so in 1933 he joined the faculty of St. Mark's School, a boys' school, located in Massachusetts. He taught English for eight years.After the war ended, Eberhart worked for the Butcher Polish Company, his in-laws' family business. After several years, he returned to the world of academia, first teaching at Princeton. He taught at several universities, before becoming a writer-in-residence at his alma mater, Dartmouth, where he would remain full-time until 1970, and part-time until 1981. From 1959 to 1961, he was the Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress (a precursor to the poet laureate position).

      The works of Richard Eberhart brought him fame and honor. Two of his most famous poems, "The Groundhog," and "The Fury of Aerial Bombardment". Eberhart also continued to release several volumes of poetry, including Reading the Spirit, Song and Idea, Burr Oaks, Great Praises, The Quarry: New Poems, Fields of Grace, and Maine Poems.


    • Selected Poems, 1930-1965
    • Collected Poems, 1930-1976
    • The Long Reach: New and Uncollected Poems, 1948-1983


    Quotations: Style is the perfection of a point of view.

    Poetry is a natural energy resource of our country.It has no energy crisis, possessing a potential that will last as long as the country. Its power is equal to that of any country in the world.

    Poems in a way are spells against death. They are milestones, to see where you were then from where you are now. To perpetuate your feelings, to establish them. If you have in any way touched the central heart of mankind's feelings, you'll survive.



    He also helped many aspiring poets, including Allen Ginsberg of the Beat Generation. Eberhart celebrated each new generation of poets, but he himself was considered old-fashioned and continued with his usual style throughout a career that spanned six decades.

    In addition to his love of poetry, Eberhart was an avid outdoorsman. He cross-country skied until the age of 90. Every year he and his family summered in Maine, where he enjoyed boating and was usually seen ferrying friends and colleagues around.


    • His father worked as a vice president for the George A. Hormel meatpacking company.
    • Wife: Helen Butcher
    Richard Eberhart
    See on larger map
    Born April 5, 1904
    Died June 9, 2005
    (aged 101)



    Valeri Yablokova last changed 21/03/2012 view changes
    Alexey Linich last changed 26/06/2014 view changes
    • Quotations
    • College/University Description
    • Works
      • Selected Poems, 1930-1965
      • Collected Poems, 1930-1976
      • The Long Reach: New and Uncollected Poems, 1948-1983
      • The Long Reach: New and Uncollected Poems, 1948-1983
      • Collected Poems, 1930-1976
      • Selected Poems, 1930-1965
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