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

Jack Gilbert

Of course it was a disaster.
The unbearable, dearest secret
has always been a disaster.
The danger when we try to leave.
Going over and over afterward
what we should have done
instead of what we did.
But for those short times
we seemed to be alive. Misled,
misused, lied to and cheated,
certainly. Still, for that
little while, we visited
our possible life.

— Jack Gilbert, “Going There,” The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992. (Alfred A. Knopf 2001)

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