In celebration of World Poetry Day, I’d thought I’d share this wonderful poem by Jack Gilbert with you all. Of course there’s always the poem that was the inspiration for my blog, A Dead Rose by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Do you have a favourite poem? If so, leave me a comment and let me know. It’s always wonderful to discover new poets and poems.
A Brief for the Defense
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babiesare not starving someplace, they are starvingsomewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would notbe made so fine. The Bengal tiger would notbe fashioned so miraculously well. The poor womenat the fountain are laughing together betweenthe suffering they have known and the awfulnessin their future, smiling and laughing while somebodyin the village is very sick. There is laughterevery day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,we lessen the importance of their deprivation.We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must havethe stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthlessfurnace of this world. To make injustice the onlymeasure of our attention is to praise the Devil.If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.We must admit there will be music despite everything.We stand at the prow again of a small shipanchored late at night in the tiny portlooking over to the sleeping island: the waterfrontis three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboatcomes slowly out and then goes back is truly worthall the years of sorrow that are to come.