One of the poets I have discovered recently – which goes to show that there is always something great right under your face – is the great Jack Gilbert.
He won’t be a poet to everyone’s liking of course; too spare, and lean for some – that is, you won’t see a lot of the flourishes you would get from other great writers.
However, you cannot help but feel more in touch with yourself, more eager to know poetry, and more willing to learn from what may not at first sight appeal to what you have already enjoyed.
Here is a sample from one of his first books. This may not be a typical sample of his work, but then if you wanted everything repeated and secure you’d turn to TV.
In Dispraise Of Poetry
When the King of Siam disliked a courtier,
he gave him a beautiful white elephant.
The miracle beat deserved such ritual
that to care for him properly meant ruin.
Yet to care for him improperly was worse.
It appears the gift could not be refused.
- From Collected Poems, Jack Gilbert
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