Tag Archives: Jack Gilbert

Life: Beautiful or Monstrous or Both? Three Poems by Swir, Mahon and Gilbert

Poetry Reading I’m curled into a ball like a dog that is cold. Who will tell me why I was born, why this monstrosity called life. The telephone rings. I have to give a poetry reading. I enter. A hundred people, a hundred pairs of eyes. They look, they wait. I know for what. I […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part Three – Jan Zwicky

  COURAGE And now you know that it won’t turn out as it should that what you did was not enough, that ignorance, old evil, is enforced and willed, and loved, that it is used to manufacture madness, that it is the aphrodisiac of power the crutch of lassitude, you an ordinary heart, just functional, […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part Two – Jack Gilbert

The Abnormal Is Not Courage The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German tanks on horses. Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers. A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace. And yet this poem would lessen that day. Question the bravery. Say it’s not courage. Call it passion. Would say courage isn’t that. […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part One – Jane Mead

World of Made and Unmade from Section III * * * How will you spend your courage, her life asks my life No courage spent of bloodshot/gunshot/taproot/eye. How will you spend your courage, how will you spend your life. Bloodshot, gunshot, taproot, eye— and the mind on its slow push through the world— * * […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #33 in a Series – The Ah! Ha! Genius of Jack Gilbert

The Cucumbers of Praxilla of Sicyon What is the best we leave behind? Certainly love and form and ourselves. Surely those. But it is the mornings that are hard to relinquish, and music and cucumbers. Rain on trees, empty piazzas in small towns flooded with sun. What we are busy with doesn’t make us groan […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #18 in a Series – James Wright – A Poem to Counter Terror

  TODAY I WAS HAPPY, SO I MADE THIS POEM As the plump squirrel scampers Across the roof of the corncrib, The moon suddenly stands up in the darkness, And I see that it is impossible to die. Each moment of time is a mountain. An eagle rejoices in the oak trees of heaven, Crying […]

To Soul or Not to Soul – Poems on Soul!

Oh, I Said My subject is the soul Difficult to talk about, Since it is invisible, Silent and often absent. Even when it shows itself In the eyes of a child Or a dog without a home, I’m at a loss for words. Charles Simic (1938 – )  from THE LUNATIC, HarperCollins Publishers, 2015 Earlier […]

Yet We Were Looking Away – On Missing the Moment!

                                                                              The Self-Unseeing Here is the ancient floor, Footworn and hollowed and thin, Here was the former […]

SIng Going Down

What a journey I had this morning! It started with finding a Hirschfield quote in the 2012 book A God in the House: …poetry exists in part to enlarge us, to deliver us into the not yet known. Writing is an act that generates and expands attention. And if I’m lucky, I may write something […]

MacEwen and Gilbert – Praise in a World Still Burning

Worlds collide, words collide – the smoke that stays in the mouth, the eyes, from the Lac-Megantic oil-tanker train wreck and explosion in Quebec; and here in Port Townsend, Washington, the different smoke of morning mist on the tongue. It will burn away the young woman says who hands me my morning coffee. What will […]