Jack Gilbert: Poet without a career by Jim Finnegan / About.com

Gerald Stern and Jack Gilbert (right) on the streets of Paris in 1950

Jack Gilbert: Poet without a Career About.com

    • Merrill Ann Gonzales
    • August 23rd, 2010

    One small act by Jack Gilbert years ago swept away any doubt I had about my path…I couldn’t take him up on his offer at the time, but the way it was presented made me know that was good and right and would turn our fine.

    • Jack Gilbert’s voice lives in me as well. I discovered him at a poetry reading after which I found myself at the far end of the parking lot where it met a ledge of darkness, high as a mountain, to cry alone in that darkened quiet. (Soon, my friend David, joined me, for the same reason! yet we knew one another & could be alone together that way.) In the years following I was able to workshop with Jack Gilbert several times; and after that, socially on a few occasions at parties where we talked about Japanese literary forms & the mystery at the center of Japanese oral poetry; even a two-hour mid-summer hike once through pines and lakes, when he said at the end of it that he’d wished he had spoken less and heard me more. As you can guess, I wasn’t sorry! I’ve read everything of his I could get my hands on. Aren’t we lucky, Merrill that he came into our lives? Thanks for sharing with me. -Donna

    • Merrill Ann Gonzales
    • August 23rd, 2010

    Hi, Donna, Yes, I was accepted into one of his workshops…that was a long time ago…but I’ve been dealing with paralysis for years and had to turn it down. But it was the way it happened that made it all o.k. My path has been just at the perfect pace for me…

    • I’m not one for workshops but Jack Gilbert was an exception. So glad to hear that you landed on your true path, Merrill.

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