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176th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 176th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Jack Gilbert, who passed away this past Veteran’s Day:

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 the body.

What do you think?

  • It’s funny how many poets I don’t know…even though I find I know more poets than most people….But this poets should be read more if this poem is any indication of his art.

  • Too bad I didn’t hear of this poet until his passing. This sounds like a poem I could spend a lot of time with. I especially loved these lines:

    “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.”

    Beautiful!
    Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday — November 19

  • Beth Hoffman

    This is a powerful poem, both for its content and imagery. I love everything about it. Clearly Jack Gilbert was incredibly talented. I just looked him up and have added the hardcover of his “Collected Poems” to my list.