Poem of the Day Series, Reading

(I’m Back) Poem of the Day: Jack Gilbert

 

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while again. But here I am: quiet little me, doing quiet not-so-little things. I’m in the process of starting a small feature series called The Curve with Write around the Bend, in preparation for their literary magazine launch next fall / winter, as well as an independent interview series for emerging writers that I’m hoping to find a home base for. So these are all on the rise. But for now, here’s a poem by Jack Gilbert, and tonight or tomorrow, I’ll post a longer piece about the rock I’ve been hiding under. Stay tuned.

 

IT IS DIFFICULT TO SPEAK OF THE NIGHT

 

It is difficult to speak of the night.
It is the other time. Not
an absence of day.
But where there are no flowers
to turn away into.
There is only this dark
and the familiar place of my body.
And the voices calling out
of me for love.
This is not the night of the young:
their simple midnight of fear.
Nor the later place to employ.
This dark is a major nation.
I turn to it at forty
and find the night in flood.
Find the dark deployed in process.
Clotted in parts, in parts
flowing with lights.
The voices still keen of the divorce
we are born into.
But they are farther off,
and do not interest me.
I am forty, and it is different.
Suddenly in midpassage
I come into myself. I leaf
gigantically. An empire yields
unexpectedly: cities, summer forests,
satrapies, horses.
A solitude: an enormity.
Thank god.

 

—previously appeared with Poetry Foundation

 

 

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