Jack Gilbert Poems
- A Brief For The Defense Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter ...
- Rain Suddenly this defeat. This rain. The blues gone ...
- The Abnormal Is Not Courage The Poles rode out from Warsaw ...
- The Great Fires Love is apart from all things. Desire and ...
- Tear It Down We find out the heart only by dismantling what ...
- Divorce Woke up suddenly thinking I heard crying. Rushed ...
- The Forgotten Dialect Of The H... How astonishing it is that...
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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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 ...