Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning

Jack Gilbert and Finding Out the Heart (ZIR)

Categories: ZiR

Zeteo is Reading / 14 November 2012

Rachael Benavidez

[N.B.: This is not part of the Fall issue of Zeteo, but one in an ongoing series of posts. For the full series see Zeteo is Reading.]


14 November 2012

Prize-winning poet Jack Gilbert died Tuesday at the age of 87. His straightforward style make his touching poems easy to understand. He will be missed.

Tear It Down
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.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.


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