Wednesday, November 14, 2012

RIP Jack Gilbert

I just learned today that Jack Gilbert, one of my favourite contemporary poets, died on Remembrance Day after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He was 87. Here's a poem that was posted on AAP's Poem-a-Day.  It does resonate with the reconsideration of a life.

Failing and Flying

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

It's the same when love comes to an end,

or the marriage fails and people say

they knew it was a mistake, that everybody

said it would never work. That she was

old enough to know better. But anything

worth doing is worth doing badly.

Like being there by that summer ocean

on the other side of the island while

love was fading out of her, the stars

burning so extravagantly those nights that

anyone could tell you they would never last.

Every morning she was asleep in my bed

like a visitation, the gentleness in her

like antelope standing in the dawn mist.

Each afternoon I watched her coming back

through the hot stony field after swimming,

the sea light behind her and the huge sky

on the other side of that. Listened to her

while we ate lunch. How can they say

the marriage failed? Like the people who

came back from Provence (when it was Provence)

and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.

I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,

but just coming to the end of his triumph.

1 comment:

Jesus said...

Le ponemos voz a tus palabras. Versos de amor y poesía romántica para escuchar.

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