JACK GILBERT. REFUSING HEAVEN. R.I.P. November 13, 2012
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

JACK GILBERT. REFUSING HEAVEN. R.I.P. November 13, 2012

At Syracuse University, on a sparkling cold winter night, at the Hall of Languages, top floor, I listened to my poetry teacher, Jack Gilbert, read and I cried and cried. His words and the passion in which he read them filled this undergraduate with emotion and possibility -- and I remember thinking: this is what it means to be in college, to write, to be alive.

I also recall one of his first workshop exercises -- to read Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Blackbird by Wallace Stevens and to write our own thirteen ways of looking by  seeing the world as it is not as we wish it could be.

This magnificent poet died today at age 87. One of his last collection of poems I re-read now, Refusing Heaven (his "Collected Poems" have just been released this year). In the title poem, the voice says at the end, as he refuses heaven, "He is like an old ferry dragged onto the shore,/ a home in its smashed grandeur, with the giant beams/ and joist.  Like a wooden ocean out of control./ A beached heart.  A cauldron of cooling melt."  Rest in peace, old teacher. Sail on.

Truly,




5 Comments to JACK GILBERT. REFUSING HEAVEN. R.I.P. November 13, 2012:

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criminal defense lawyer on Friday, November 30, 2012 8:43 AM
Rest in peace, old teacher. Sail on.
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criminal defense lawyer on Friday, November 30, 2012 8:44 AM
Like a wooden ocean out of control./ A beached heart. A cauldron of cooling melt." Rest in peace, old teacher. Sail on.
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roulette en ligne casino on Wednesday, December 05, 2012 7:50 AM
I remember thinking: this is what it means to be in college, to write, to be alive.
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Sell xbox on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:32 PM
I also recall one of his first workshop exercises -- to read it and also to write our own thirteen ways of looking by seeing the world as it is not as we wish it could be.to be alive.
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directory of dui attorneys on Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:48 PM
I can still remember Mr. Gilbert during one of his visits in our school and he was talking about journalism and writing in general. Such a great man and, yes, a very great poet!
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