Sunday, December 16, 2012

Your Sunday Poem

Before he recently died,  Jack Gilbert's  "Collected Poems," was published, more than fifty years of his work in one volume. It's a wonderful collection, in case you're looking for a fine Christmas gift. Here's a fine from the volume:

The Manager of Incidentals 

We are surrounded by the absurd excess of the universe.
By meaningless bulk, vastness without size,
power without consequence.  The stubborn iteration
that is present without being felt.
Nothing the spirit can marry.  Merely phenomenon
and its physics.  An endless, endless of going on.
No habitat where the brain can recognize itself.
No pertinence for the heart.  Helpless duplication.
The horror of none of it being alive.
No red squirrels, no flowers, not even weed.
Nothing that knows what season it is.
The starts uninflected by awareness.
Miming without implication.  We alone see the iris
in front of the cabin reach its perfection
and quickly perish.  The lamb is born into happiness
and is eaten for Easter.  We are blessed
with powerful love and it goes away.  We can mourn.
We live the strangeness of being momentary,
and still we are exalted by being temporary.
The grand Italy of meanwhile.  It is the fact of being brief,
being small and slight that is the source of our beauty.
We are a singularity that makes music out of noise
because we must hurry.  We make a harvest of loneliness
and desiring in the blank wasteland of the cosmos.


Alon Perlman said...

The other "universally philosophical" poems by Jack Gilbert are accessible on the canons by clicking "Jack Gilbert" below her post.

This came in on my feed yesterday and is, I think, in tune with the Gilbert poems and all the recent posts by Ann, under the skies of the savage god.
You can also visit the Welwood site
from a feed by
Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology

by Jennifer Welwood

My friends, let's grow up.
Let's stop pretending we don't know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven't noticed, let's wake up and notice.
Look: everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It's simple--how could we have missed it for so long?
Let's grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let's not be so shocked by them.
Let's not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life's only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion is exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride--let's give ourselves to it!
Let's stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn't one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children any more.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let's dance the wild dance of no hope!

By Jennifer Welwood

Churadogs said...

Ah, Welwood's a new author to me. Thanks. That theme is a common one to many poets. Life fragile.