Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday's poem: Jack Gilbert "there will be music despite everything"

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,/ we should give thanks that the end has magnitude./ We must admit there will be music despite everything."
Jack Gilbert
from A Brief for the Defense

I have only recently discovered the poetry of Jack Gilbert, whose poems are described by one reviewer as "poems of savage compassion".

An interview with Gilbert can be found here. A review of his Collected Poems from the New York Times is here.

Horses at Midnight Without a Moon
by Jack Gilbert

Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dreams wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long- legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.

No comments: