American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · 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… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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

Jack Gilbert

Is she more apparent because she is not anymore forever? Is her whiteness more white because she was the color of pale honey? A smokestack making the sky more visible. A dead woman filling the whole world. Michiko said, “The roses you gave me kept me awake with the sound of their petals falling. —… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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

Jack Gilbert

Not wanting to lose it all for poetry. Wanting to live the living. All this year looking on the graveyard below my apartment. Holding myself tenderly in this marred body. Wondering if the quiet I feel is that happiness wise people speak of, or the modulation that is the acquiescence to death beginning. — Jack… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Jack Gilbert

What we are given is taken away, but we manage to keep it secretly. We lose everything, but make harvest of the consequence it was to us. Memory builds this kingdom from the fragments and approximation. We are gleaners who fill the barn for the winter that comes on. — Jack Gilbert, from “Moreover,” Refusing… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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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… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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

Jack Gilbert

Angelus Obsidian. Sturgeon. Infatuated angels. Which only we can translate into flesh. The language to which we alone are native. Our own bait. We are spirits housed in meat, instantly opaque to the Lord. As Jesus. We go into the deadfall of the body, our hearts in their marvelous cases and discover new belfries everywhere.… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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

Jack Gilbert

Imagine if suffering were real. Imagine if those old people were afraid of death. What if the midget or the girl with one arm really felt pain? Imagine how impossible it would be to live if some people were alone and afraid all their lives. — Jack Gilbert, “Games,” Monolithos: Poems, 1962 and 1982. (Alfred… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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