Happening Apart From What's Happening Around It

There is a vividness to eleven years of love
because it is over. A clarity of Greece now
because I live in Manhattan or New England.
If what is happening is part of what's going on
around what's occurring, it is impossible
to know what truly is happening. If love is
part of the passion, part of the fine food
or the villa on the Mediterranean, it is not
clear what love is. When I was walking
in the mountains with the Japanese man and began
to hear the water, he said, "What is the sound
of the waterfall?" "Silence," he finally told me.
The stillness I did not notice until the sound
of water falling made apparent the silence I had
been hearing long before. I ask myself what
is the sound of women? What is the word for
that still thing I have hunted inside them
for so long? Deep inside the avalanche of joy,
the thing deeper in the dark, and deeper still
in the bed where we are lost. Deeper, deeper
down where a woman's heart is holding its breath,
where something very far away in that body
is becoming something we don't have a name for.

-Jack Gilbert

from Refusing Heaven (Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry)


He has a great way of summarizing my life (as well as his own experiences). For anyone interested, I started a Jack Gilbert group page on facebook and welcome your input: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=86569570141&ref=ts

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