American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Jack Gilbert

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.

— Jack Gilbert, from “Tear It Down,” The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992. (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)

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