Subscribe to Granta today

Two poems

|

Yesterday, at the age of 87, poet Jack Gilbert died. He was the recipient of numerous accolades, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his 2005 collection Refusing Heaven. Gilbert was published on granta.com on 26 February 2009. ‘Meanwhile’ and ‘The New Bride Amost Visible in Latin’ are taken from his collection The Dance Most of All. We republish them today in dedication to his memory.

Meanwhile

It waits. While I am walking through the pine trees
along the river, it is waiting. It has waited a long time.
In southern France, in Belgium, and even Alabama.
Now it waits in New England while I say grace over
almost everything: for a possum dead on someone’s lawn,
the single light on a levee while Northampton sleeps,
and because the lanes between houses in Greek hamlets
are exactly the width of a donkey loaded on each side
with barley. Loneliness is the mother’s milk of America.
The heart is a foreign country whose language none
of us is good at.Winter lingers on in the woods,
but already it looks discarded as the birds return
and sing carelessly; as though there never was the power
or size of December. For nine years in me it has waited.
My life is pleasant, as usual. My body is a blessing
and my spirit clear. But the waiting does not let up.

The New Bride Almost Visible in Latin

We want to believe that what happens
in the dark bedroom is normal.
Pretending that being alive
is reasonable keeps the door shut
against whether maggots, nematodes,
and rot are also created in God’s image.
Our excess is measured, our passion
almost deliberate. As we grow up,
we more and more love appropriately.
When Alicia got married, the priest
conducted the Mass in English because
it was understandable. He faced us
as though we were friends. Had us
gather around the altar afterwards.
She hugged and kissed each one until me.
The bride, fresh from Communion,
kissed me deeply with her tongue,
her husband three feet away.
The great portals of our knowing
each other closed forever. I was flooded
by the size of what had ended.
But it was the mystery of marriage
and its hugeness that shocked me,
fell on me like an ox. I felt
mortality mixing with the fragrance
of my intimacy with her. The difference
between the garden of her body
and the presence of her being was the same
distance as the clear English of the Mass from
the blank Latin which held the immensities.

Read more poems on Granta.com

Comments (59)

You need to create an account or log in to comment.

  1. Caitlin Jessep

    Mon Sep 16 16:26:01 BST 2013

    Great post here! Thanks for sharing! For dog lovers check this out: https://www.arava-psp.co.uk/dog-grooming/

    #
  2. DebraSanto

    Tue Aug 20 15:38:26 BST 2013

    Took me a while to understand them...loneliness is the mother’s milk..:))

    http://bedding-sets.exaviews.com/beach-bedding/

    #
  3. dennisscott819

    Thu Sep 12 12:26:51 BST 2013

    I love how the poem was written, awesome. Get your dvd duplication with us at http://www.maxduplication.co.uk/product/797-1/DVD_Duplication.

    #
  4. thomasmacomber

    Fri Sep 06 13:30:55 BST 2013

    What a great post! Very inspiring for a lot of reader. <a href="http://tshirts.flyingsolo.com.au/">Design your own t shirt</a>

    #
  5. Tracy ROss

    Sun Sep 08 02:24:05 BST 2013

    Appreciation for being really thoughtful, I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot and try out http://www.personalcashadvance.com. Please do keep up the awesome job.

    #
  6. skyparkresidence@outlook.com

    Tue Sep 10 09:05:26 BST 2013

    Several buses are available near Skypark Residences ec along with shopping centers and restaurants. Skypark Residences is also near Sembawang Shopping Centre as well as Woodlands Waterfront. http://skyparkresidence.org

    #
  7. beautigullgirl

    Sat Sep 28 08:48:02 BST 2013

    well, this is an amazing thing that I found here. You tried best to achieve your thoughts. http://travlinglocations.com/

    #
  8. Martha1769

    Wed Jul 30 13:31:45 BST 2014

    Thanks a lot, dude, Wow, superb blog format! https://archive.org/details/PregnancyMiracleBookLisaOlson

    #
  9. hemant

    Tue Aug 05 05:51:28 BST 2014

    I used to be very shy and hopeless because of being overweight. Now after using slim 24 pro I feel beautiful, energetic and confident. I am using slim 24 pro on regular basis and recommend to all.

    http://herbaslim24pro.com

    #
  10. Le Duc Bao

    Fri Nov 22 14:12:04 GMT 2013

  11. magancalvin

    Tue Jul 15 10:38:56 BST 2014

    I also benefit from learning the assessments, but learn that alot of people ought to stay on essay to try and add worth in the direction of the authentic weblog release.
    http://fiverrrrr.tumblr.com/

    #
  12. kripa

    Tue Jun 03 11:04:10 BST 2014

    Feel really happy to have seen this webpage, you're very smart writer and look forward for more. check out free itunes Gift Card at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye72dFqLang

    #
  13. SheilaF

    Fri Aug 08 04:17:39 BST 2014

    Hello, This is a very nice post I like it
    http://alegrafesta.com.br

    #
  14. baiduri

    Tue Aug 12 08:09:51 BST 2014

    When Alicia got married, the priest
    conducted the Mass in English because
    it was understandable RUMTAR88.COM AGEN BOLA SBOBET IBCBET CASINO 338A TANGKAS TOGEL ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA http://tech-kinodeon.blogspot.com/2014/08/agen-bola-sbobet-ibcbet-online.html
    http://yoobooy.com/kontes-seo/agen-texas-dan-domino-online-indonesia-terpercaya-2.html
    PokerStar88.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya http://yoobooy.com/kontes-seo/agen-texas-dan-domino-online-indonesia-terpercaya.html

    #
  15. col3

    Sat Jun 28 12:07:31 BST 2014

    StepUp is a wonderful product. I used it for a month and saw a noticeable difference in myself. Now I don't shy of going out with my friends etc. I am too happy with it.

    http://www.stepupheightincreaser.co

    #
  16. Norton Ashley

    Wed Apr 02 20:19:19 BST 2014

    Merely wanna input on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the subject matter is really fantastic : D.
    http://escortservicesite.com dating escort services oraifite

    #
  17. MuazaLas

    Tue Jul 29 00:22:50 BST 2014

    step up height increaser is really a amazing solution for a short height person. it gives excellent results.
    http://putperjaka.blogspot.com/2014/07/agen-texas-dan-domino-online-indonesia-terpercaya.html

    #
  18. magancalvin

    Wed Jul 09 13:08:31 BST 2014

    Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

    Portugal Properties for sale
    http://pureportugalproperties.com/

    #
  19. Amelia Shay

    Wed May 28 01:14:59 BST 2014

    Thank you for this inspiring post.

    http://www.ziqmedia.com/

    #
  20. ary

    Wed Aug 06 22:35:59 BST 2014

    I am not habituate to reply a comment on blogs but this blog caught my attention and I am compelled to write a comment here to express my gratitude to you. http://www.crystalx-me.blogspot.com/2014/07/jual-crystal-x-asli.html I would like to appreciate for this awesome work http://www.crystalx-me.blogspot.com

    #
  21. camerachicinth

    Wed Jun 11 16:25:59 BST 2014

    Male Enhancement Pills 100% SAFE & NATURAL, Would you like Bigger, Harder Erections & More Intense Orgasms? Try Male Extra Risk Free Today ..... https://www.facebook.com/MaleExtraEnlargementPillsSupplement In relation to sexual activity, one hypothesis emerging from research is that the male microbiome might reflect or be related to his partner’s microbiome (a microbiome is the totality of microorganisms found in a particular area).
    The researchers also found that some men pass urine containing one group of bacteria, whereas other men's urine contains completely different microbes. In terms of overall composition there are lot of parallels to the microbes found in the human gut. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-KID-1Sk9k With this, there appears to be no clear set of bacteria that define a “healthy” urogenital tract.
    However, there are clues for what might make for an unhealthy composition, according to The Scientist. Certain microbes within the urethra could make a man more susceptible to infection by supporting colonization by pathogens like Chlamydia. https://www.facebook.com/MaleExtraMaleEnhancementPillsSupplement

    #
  22. JOHN817726

    Sun Jul 20 23:20:50 BST 2014

    I want to thank you for this great article.I enjoyed every little bit
    part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.Really loved
    reading your we blog post.
    http://www.liputan6.com

    #
  23. MuazaLas

    Wed Jul 23 16:59:20 BST 2014

    I have bookmarked your website because this site contains valuable information in it. I am really happy with articles quality and presentation. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. Great post ! I'm really getting ready to across this information , is very useful my friend . Additionally great blog here with all of the useful information you have to Keep up the excellent work you are doing right
    http://goo.gl/LSosAK
    http://muaza-las.blogspot.com/

    #
  24. pesbupromot

    Mon Jun 30 01:55:25 BST 2014

    Thanks for some other wonderful post. The place else may just anyone get that type of info in such a perfect manner of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such information.
    http://multijayafurniture.com/

    #
  25. furniture

    Sat Aug 16 08:49:55 BST 2014

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear idea http://collectorsfurniture.com

    #
  26. careyourhealth

    Wed Aug 27 10:52:51 BST 2014

    First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.
    http://www.sandhisudha-plusoil.in
    http://www.5in1-airsofa.in
    http://www.noaddiction-powder.com
    http://www.noaddiction-powder.in

    #