Friday, July 29, 2005

Looking for Jack Gilbert

Since I began blogging, I’ve kind of left the strict road of formalism in search of something else.

To date, through this entire blogging world, I’ve come to focus on these four poets (I know there will be more): Frank O’Hara, Robert Creeley, Jack Spicer, and Jack Gilbert, although the last I haven’t really got around to (because I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced collected Spicer while attending to O’Hara and Creeley). So because of Chris Lott’s post today (Sometimes there’s a blogger who just seems to channel into your consciousnees. For some reason. Chris Lott these days is one), I’ve decided to search for something from Gilbert’s new book and discovered this one.

And got this breathtaking significance somewhere in its middle:
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
As a poetry, this is risky stuff. It skirts the prosaic. But it goes beyond those shallow waters and enters some subterranean world of exceptional art. I believe this is something that Gilbert HAD to say. And say it well. I think he did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My friend, I have been doing research on Gilbert for several months now and all I can say is, if you want to see a poet take tremendous risks and succeed in a surreal way, look no further.