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.
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.