Jack Gilbert

(1925 - / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Jack Gilbert
Do you like this poet?
216 person liked.
9 person did not like.

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 »

Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.

Comments about Jack Gilbert

more comments »
  • Ronald Jorgensen (5/31/2013 3:22:00 PM)

    Entering the website through the search phrase on Google of all poems of Jack Gilbert, and finding that tag on the site, clicking on it is not fruitful. I wanted to see his poem, Guilty, and got nothing in the search for it. Do you not, in fact, have all of his poems as the tag promises? I am disappointed, for Guilty is one of his great creations (in my opinion, of course) , and stands as a creative originality even in the context of his already creative originality generally.

    After writing this comment, I found I was able to locate the poem elsewhere and have copied and pasted it below for your consideration. I'd, of course, be interested in reactions.

    The man certainly looked guilty.
    Ugly, ragged, and not clean. Not to mention
    their finding him there in the woods
    with her body. Neighbors told how he was
    always playing with dead squirrels,
    mangled dogs, even snakes. He said
    those were the only things that would
    allow him to get close. Look at me,
    the old man said with uncomplaining
    simplicity, I'm already one of the dead
    among the dead. It's hard to watch things
    humiliated the way death does it.
    Possums smeared on the road, birds with ants
    eating out their eyes. Even dying rats
    want privacy for their disgrace.
    It's true I washed the dirt from her face
    and the blood off the body. Combed her hair.
    I slept beside her, at her feet for two days,
    the way my dog used to. I got the dress
    on the best I could. She looked so neglected.
    Like garbage thrown in the weeds.
    Like nobody cared because he had done that
    to her. I kept thinking about how long
    she is going to be alone now. I knew
    the police would take pictures and put them
    in the papers naked and open so people
    eating breakfast could look at her. I wanted
    to give her spirit enough time to get ready.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share this,


Read all 1 comments »
Best Poem of Jack Gilbert

A Brief For The Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible ...

Read the full of A Brief For The Defense

PoemHunter.com Updates

[Report Error]