Richard Purdy Wilbur (March 1, 1921 – October 14, 2017) was a poet and literary translator from the United States. Wilbur was one of the best poets of his time, and his work, written mostly in conventional forms, was distinguished by its wit, charm, and gentlemanly refinement. He also translated many French poems into English.
Wilbur was born on March 1, 1921, in San Diego, California, to Elizabeth Bowden and Edward Franklin Wilbur, a surgeon. His father died when he was only nine years old, and he was raised by his mother and her second husband, Charles Sheldon Parker, after which he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There he attended Harvard University, where he joined the varsity crew team and studied literature with William Lyon Phelps and George Lyman Kittredge. After graduating in 1943, he married Erika Niemeyer, with whom he had three children. In 1946, he began teaching at Mount Holyoke College, where he remained until he became full professor in 1964. He resigned from this post in 1969 to devote himself to writing, but returned to teach once more from 1986 to 1990. Wilbur was appointed Henry W. Longfellow Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in 1971, a position he held until his death. He died in Boston on October 14, 2017.
Wilbur was a bright and diligent student who succeeded in school. His demeanor was gregarious and vigorous, and he planned to attend Yale University after graduating from high school. Wilbur's life was altered by an event during the winter of 1885–86. A local doctor named Horatio Nelson Jackson came up with the idea of building a human-powered aircraft to compete in world's fairs. Wilbur decided to build the machine himself and hired several men to help him.
They built the plane near Wright's home in North Carolina and took it out for its first test flight on January 27, 1896. The plane crashed into the woods but not before it had flown more than 100 feet.
Wilbur was deeply affected by this accident. He quit school and went to work full time for the National Manufacturing Company where they made bicycles. In 1899, he formed his own company called the Wright Cycle Company. It failed after only one year. Wilbur then got a job with the United States Mail as a carrier because he needed some way to make money. He saved his wages and in 1903 bought another bicycle company called the Bendix Bicycle Company. He changed its name to the Wright Company and started making airplanes instead. The Wrights did very well for themselves and were able to afford a house in Dayton, Ohio. They had five children, three boys and two girls. Their family life was happy even though they had their problems like any other couple.
While Wilbur continued to write composed, introspective, and mainly hopeful poetry in volumes like as Things of This World (1956), Advice to a Prophet (1961), and Walking to Sleep (1969), the poetic environment of the period meant that his work was frequently criticized. His poems were described as "luminous" and "apocalyptic" by some critics, but others saw him as outdated, a "dowdy poet of the early atomic age."
In fact, Wilbur wrote only one poem during his lifetime that has been called apocalyptic: "The Last Man". It is a dark vision of humanity without God or hope.
Wilbur died at the young age of 37, still in love with his wife and mother to his children. He had two more books published after his death, but they did not have the success of Poems (1923).
His work is now regarded as one of the founding fathers of modernism in the United States.
Wilbur is a German name that means "resolute and brilliant"—two qualities that every little lads should possess! The name has seen a significant drop in popularity since its apex in the 1880s, but we believe it is ripe for a comeback.
Before the 1980s, Wilbur was one of the most popular names for boys in America. It even ranked as the top name for one year in 1959! Since then, it has fallen out of favor. But if you look at the data from baby naming websites such as BabyCenter, Wilbur remains popular among parents who want their boy to be brave and courageous.
There are several theories about the decline in popularity of Wilbur. Some people think it is because many boys now are given names instead. While others say it is due to the fact that it is already hard to find a unique name for a boy so more parents prefer to give them up to date names such as Leo, Mason, and Abel.
However, there is one thing that everyone agrees on: Wilbur is making a comeback! In fact, some sources say that it has become one of the most popular names for boys this year.
Wilbur was born during the spring season. Papa Arable wants to murder him since he is the runt of the litter. Fern saves Wilbur's life and promises to look after him herself. He is, after all, a lovely little piggy.
When Fern goes into labor, she calls upon her friend Mrs. Bird for help. Mrs. Bird flies home with Fern in her beak and they both recover in her nest. When Fern can walk again, she takes Wilbur to see Mrs. Bird, who loves him like her own son. Then Mrs. Bird flies off to visit her friends in another part of the forest.
After she leaves, a terrible thing happens: A farmer catches hold of Wilbur and plans to sell him as meat. But just at this moment Mr. Bird returns with some other birds in his beak. They have seen Wilbur and they want to buy him too! The only one who doesn't want to buy Wilbur is Papa Arable. He tries to kill him but fails. Then Mr. Bird sells him instead to Fern and she treats him like her own child.
This story shows that it isn't necessary to be big or strong to be useful or happy. If someone loves you, you can trust them to take good care of you.
Mr. Milton Wright Wilbur Wright/Father/Father/Father/Father/Father
Milton Wright (November 17, 1828–April 3, 1917) was a bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and the father of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Virgil Doyle Wilburn was born on July 7, 1930, in Hardy, Arkansas, followed by Thurman Theodore Wilburn on November 30, 1931. Their father, Benjamin, a crippled World War I veteran, acquired a guitar, mandolin, and violin from the Sears and Roebuck catalog in the hopes that the children would help him. Instead, they learned to play these instruments and began performing for crowds around Hardy. At age 14, Virgil left home to pursue music full time while Thurman stayed in school.
By 1949, both Wilburn brothers were playing in nightclubs across Texas. That same year, Virgil married Lillie Mae Patton; they had three children: Vicki, Linda, and Billy Lee. In 1955, Thurman married Mary Alice Webb; they had two children: Kelly and Stacy. The family moved around frequently because of Thurman's busy schedule as a musician. They lived in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina before settling in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1972.
Thurman Wilburn died on April 28, 1993, at the age of 51. He is buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Hardin County, Kentucky.
Virgil Wilburn died on January 24, 1999, at the age of 69. He is also buried in Forest Park Cemetery.
Their sister, Arvilla, who was also a musician, died in 1995 at the age of 60.