Gilbert, Jack

United States, (b. 1925)

The Plundering of Circe

  1. Circe had no pleasure in pigs.
  2. Pigs, wolves, nor fawning
  3. lions. She sang in our language
  4. and, beautiful, waited for quality.
  5.  
  6. Every month they came
  7. struggling up from the cove.
  8. The great sea-light behind them.
  9. Each time maybe a world.
  10.  
  11. Season after season.
  12. Dinner after dinner.
  13. And always at the first measures
  14. of lust became themselves.
  15.  
  16. Odysseus? A known liar.
  17. A resort darling. Untouchable.

© Jack Gilbert. Monolithos. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, (1982).

About the Poet

Jack Gilbert, (b. 1925), is a US poet. His work in usually distinguished by its simple lyricism and straightforward clarity of tone. Though his first book of poetry Views of Jeopardy was published in 1962, Gilbert retreated from his earlier activity in the San Francisco poetry scene and moved to Europe, first touring from while living on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and then living awhile in England, Denmark, and Greece.

Nearly the whole of his career after the publication of his first book of poetry is marked by what he has described in interviews as a “self-imposed isolation.” Some have considered to be a spiritual quest to describe his alienation from mainstream American culture, and others have dismissed as little more than an extended period as a professional house guest. In more recent years Gilbert has returned the U.S. with a total of 9 books of poetry to his credit. [DES-11/10]

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