Poem – A Brief for the Defense by Jack Gilbert

Poetry moves in mysterious ways. The trail to Jack Gilbert ran from a link in a Funds for Writers newsletter (which if you don’t get, you should) to an issue of Sun Magazine which reprinted several of his poems. Gilbert is a writer you should know.
Photo 11

The following is an excerpt from ‘A Brief for the Defense’

There is laughter every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
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.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.

Read the full poem at Sun Magazine, p43
Buy Gilbert’s Collected Poems

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s