Gilberts’s Icarus: Reframing Failure

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph. Continue reading

Life’s A Raft

gericault-raft_of_the_medusa
 
My ship, my Titanic

Has hit an Iceberg

Her last passengers

Move to the tip and

Near-vertical

gaze at  with

foundered horror

the last lifeboats’

departure

Continue reading

Lookin’ Up, Lookin’ In

There was too much to look around, so  I looked up… Continue reading

Hide and Seek at Rosh Hanikra

 Dolce Far Niente or …

My idea of a holiday is far niente, dolce far niente, to my husband’s dismay. Not even reading. And I have an outstanding talent at doing nothing without any feeling of guilt. Continue reading