American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Poetry

Jack Gilbert

Poem For Laura

Now come the bright prophets across my life.
The solemn fl esh, the miracles, and the pain.
Across the simple meadows of my heart,
splendidly you come promising sorrow.
And knowing, I bless your coming with trees of love,
singing, singing even to the night.

The princely mornings will fail when you go, and night
will come like animals. Yet I open my cautious life
and sing thanksgiving of yes, oh yes to love,
even while the tireless crows of pain
and the diligent fever-ticks of sorrow
are somehow privileged in my flowering heart.

For you fashion such rivers in my soon unable heart
as are focused to paradise by the crippling night.
Such terraced waters as are cheap at only sorrow.
And to have cargoes of hyacinths sail once more my life
I will freely undertake any debt of pain.
I will break these hands for tokens, oh my love.

Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems (Knopf, 2012)

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