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Thanks for this post. "The Abnormal is Not Courage" is one of my favorite poems; one I read nearly every day. In fact I found this site because I just read the poem (tacked to the wall of my cube in the office) and googled JG to see what may come up.
About the man who said JG's poetry saved his life: I can relate: "Abnormal..." is one of those which saved mine, which is why I read it so often: to remind myself why (and how) I am still here.

Laura Davis Doe

"A Description of Happiness in Copenhagen" keeps me alive. He said clearly what my heart feels.

Pat Keleher

Searching all over for a poem by Jack Gilbert. I think the title is something like "God waits" or "God wants." Has a line I want to use at Xmas time "Risk delight." I bet the poem is as fresh as that!


Buy his books Pat, buy his books.


Pat -- the poem you're looking for is called A Case for the Defense, and I think it's the finest I've ever read! If only I could find the text now, I want to send it to a friend...

Ellen Rosenblatt

Looking for a poem by Jack Gilbert:
We must risk delight. We can do without
but not delight



It's "A Brief for the Defense" and you can read it here: http://www.poems.com/briefgil.htm

Please buy his book,"Refusing Heaven," as it contains this and other wonderful poems.


being a jack gilbert novice, i was browsing some sites to find some information for a class. i have never fallen in love with a poet so quickly. his language is so precise and calm, and yet he speaks of beauty so emphatically. i am happy to have made his aquaintance.


Hi, what does Jack look like? Is he cute? I have to write an analysis on that Meditteranean poem due tomorrow.


Jack taught a poetry writing class at my college. He was amazing and hilarious. I was so lucky to study with him.

He told this amazing story about trying to cut a Christmas tree for a girlfriend from the top of a very tall fir. He fell and broke nearly every bone in his body. They told him he would never be able to walk again. And all for a girl. He, of course, recovered miraculously.


"Married" is a very touching poem. Thanx for it. Glad I came across this blog. Will go through the archives in leisure.

Jason Mashak

Thanks for posting these! For any/all who are interested, there's a Jack Gilbert group on facebook: http://groups.to/jackgilbertpoetextraordinaire/


In the poem "Married" line 10 should be "repotting" not "reporting". ;)

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