Jack Gilbert Poems
- The Forgotten Dialect Of The H... How astonishing it is that...
- Rain Suddenly this defeat. This rain. The blues gone ...
- The Great Fires Love is apart from all things. Desire and ...
- Divorce Woke up suddenly thinking I heard crying. Rushed ...
- The Abnormal Is Not Courage The Poles rode out from Warsaw ...
- Tear It Down We find out the heart only by dismantling what ...
- Searching For Pittsburgh The fox pushes softly, blindly ...
Jack Gilbert was an American poet.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.'s neighborhood of East Liberty, he attended Peabody High School then worked as a door-to-door salesman, an exterminator, and a steelworker. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he and his classmate Gerald Stern developed a serious interest in poetry and writing.
His work is distinguished by simple lyricism and straightforward clarity of tone. Though his first book of poetry (Views of Jeopardy, 1962) was quickly recognized and Gilbert himself made into something of a media darling, he retreated from his earlier activity in the San Francisco poetry ... more »
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The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart
How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs