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    na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito

Four Poems by Jack Gilbert
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
1.

Tear It Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of raccoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within that body.

2.

Rain

Suddenly this defeat.
This rain.
The blues gone gray
And the browns gone gray
And yellow
A terrible amber.
In the cold streets
Your warm body.
In whatever room
Your warm body.
Among all the people
Your absence
The people who are always
Not you.

3.

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

4.

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
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

5.

And an excerpt from an interview:

"...Much of postmodern poetry has no significance at all. Unless you like puzzles. Unless you can figure out what the thing is about. The point is not to mystify the reader but to trick the reader into feeling something, knowing something. And this whole absurdity about doubting the "I" in poetry I don't understand at all. The "I" is the source of communication of things that matter. At least, that's what I feel. I want to trust the speaker of the poem. It's like biting into gold, to see if it's true metal. Poets work by insight, not by cleverness. If not through inspiration, then through intuition. Not by mechanics or examining the nature of the way someone seeing something encounters something. In much postmodern poetry the eyeball follows a certain little trail and then translates what it sees back into something else, proclaiming then, "Yes that is a dog." What the hell good is that? If you're scientifically inclined, it's wonderful. It's an extraordinary science of cognition, but it's nothing that has anything to do with my life emotionally, and if it's not emotional what does it offer? It can offer beauty, perhaps, if you're interested in that. It's nice, but it's not going to change your life. Telling a story is very nice, but unless the thing, the novel, the short story does something to you as a person, then it's just another artifact....

"I believe we are made by art, art that matters. Not what's ingenious, clever, or hard to read. Not a mystery puzzle. I think if a poem doesn't put emotional pressure on me, I don't feel uncomfortable in the sense of feeling more than I can feel, understanding more than I can understand, loving more than I am able to be in love. Real poetry enables me for that."

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posted by mdlc @ 4:27 PM  
2 Comments:
  • At 7:19 PM, OpenID valentinosinverguenza said…

    galing kael! so much honesty.

     
  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger mlv said…

    i love his voice when he reads The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart:
    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19351

     
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