Volume 72, Issue 4, Fall 2020
“Stalled by Our Lassitude”
Time and Attunement in Wilbur’s “Lying”
Richard Wilbur’s poem “Lying” considers two kinds of lying. He addresses the traditional accusation that poets tell lies, but he gradually exposes boredom as a subtler and more dangerous form of lying. The essay draws on insights from the philosophers Martin Heidegger and Jean-Luc Marion and considers analogues in Scripture and Hamlet and Paradise Lost in order to draw out the significance of Wilbur’s claim.