Jack Gilbert'S Poetry Essays

Jack Gilbert'S Poetry Essays-90
Each seems to interlace or bind with others in the book such that the collection a collection has an impressive structural integrity and cumulative strength.

Each seems to interlace or bind with others in the book such that the collection a collection has an impressive structural integrity and cumulative strength.

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Strict meter and rhyme have virtually no place in Gilbert’s methods.

Nor is this purely “free” verse, as each poem tends to be consistent in line length on the page and in the ear.

Feel free to use the comment feature to open a dialogue about this piece, what you like, don’t like, don’t get, or where I’ve misread in my scant gloss above.

(I think it was) had a poetry correspondent, whose name I no longer recall, who would turn up once a week to discuss a new volume of contemporary poetry.

For a few years now one of my favorite poets has been Pittsburgh’s own Jack Gilbert.

According to his bio, he is currently living in Western Massachusetts, and his work reads, for me at least, as a sensitive yet tough-minded exposition on the realities of rust, decrepitude, and the sufferings of our day-to-day lives. The sane woman under the bed with the rat that is licking off the peanut butter she puts on her front teeth for him.She will lean against my leg as she sits so as not to fall over in her weakness. The arches of her feet are like voices of children calling in the grove of lemon trees, where my heart is as helpless as crushed birds.[There was a quotation from an essay by Auden (“The Vision of Eros”) that I was going to insert here, as being a good assessment of Gilbert’s approach to love, but the book containing it has gone temporarily missing; perhaps another time.] I would not want to give the impression that Gilbert’s poetry is consistently downbeat or that it is in any way "depressing." In fact, a small number of these poems (though not the strongest in the collection) seem to have been intended to raise a chuckle, or at least a wry grin.The portentously titled “Prospero Dreams of Daniel Arnaut Inventing love in the Twelfth Century,” for example, gives an almost rube-goldbergian history of the origins of perfume in the course of its nine lines, involving deer, flutes and helicopters [in the 12th Century? We must eat through the wildness of her sweet body already in our bed to reach the body within that body.As he left past Hall Eight, he saw the face in a basement window, tears running down the cheeks. The stubbornness here is the speaker’s refusal to succumb to the sorrow suggested by the “sane woman,” “the beggars,” and the “farmers,” yet, at line 6 Gilbert moves into his own biography to make more poignant and power the final sentence of the 14th line.Michiko was his wife, who had died from cancer, and Gilbert manages to include her passing (by mentioning her burial city) amongst the other injustices and sorrows that befall the living.Yet, a sense of grace and acceptance, a tenuous dignity, belies the heartache and very real sorrow that accompanies his speakers’ lives. Please note the bibliographic information and if you like this piece below, I bet you’ll want to get a copy of the collection for yourself. The beggars of Calcutta blinding their children while somewhere people are rich and eating with famous friends and having running water in their fine houses. The tired farmers thresh barley all day under the feet of donkeys amid the merciless power of the sun. All of us wane, knowing things could have been different.When Gordon was released from the madhouse, he could not find Hayden to say goodbye.Because this was radio, it was necessary to read aloud excerpts from the collection in question on the air, so the poetry could actually be appreciated in its most potentially effective form.It was through one such report that I first became aware of by Jack Gilbert.His wife, Michiko Nogami, died of cancer in 1982; her dying, his grief and the love out of which that grief springs are the most consistent threads running through , which also alludes among many other things to Gilbert’s youth in Pittsburgh, to long periods of solitude (mostly on that Greek island), and to a passionate love affair at an unspecified time in Denmark.The poems collected here were written from 1982 to 1992.


Comments Jack Gilbert'S Poetry Essays

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