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.
Jack Gilbert — who I used to call maybe the greatest living poet — died this past year. Here are some more of his:
+ I Imagine The Gods
+ A Brief for the Defense
+ Getting Away with It
+ Not Getting Closer
On this day in:
2012: from An Atlas of the Difficult World, Adrienne Rich
2011: Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal, Naomi Shihab Nye
2010: from Pioneers! O Pioneers!, Walt Whitman
2009: from The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
2008: from Five-Finger Exercises, T.S. Eliot
2007: Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot
2006: Preludes, T.S. Eliot
2005: A Song for Simeon, T.S. Eliot
Aaaand, that’s a wrap on National Poetry Month 2013! Thanks so much for reading along. See you next year: same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. In the meantime, you can make your way through the archive of poems from past years to see what you find. Getting to be quite a few in there.