Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Comments Posted 11.29.12 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Jack Gilbert

Summer at Blue Creek, North Carolina


There was no water at my grandfather's

when I was a kid and would go for it
with two zinc buckets. Down the path,
past the cow by the foundation where
the fine people's house was before

they arranged to have it burned down.
To the neighbor's cool well. Would
come back with pails too heavy,
so my mouth pulled out of shape.

I see myself, but from the outside.
I keep trying to feel who I was,
and cannot. Hear clearly the sound
the bucket made hitting the sides

of the stone well going down,
but never the sound of me.



Editor's Note: There is a story of Gilbert, likely apocryphal, in which a student of his asked him what he in his old age could still know about love. Gilbert leaned over the seminar table and began to choke his student, at least sparing him the lesson about how it feels to lose someone.

The man had a gift for communicating passion, whether about the end of a relationship or the death of his wife, or, in the case of "Summer at Blue Creek, North Carolina," his lost youth. The language is spare and uncomplicated, the emotions have no shred of self-doubt, and so there is nothing to muffle the nuance of the feeling or to muzzle the intensity that comes out in its sounds. Gilbert passed away on November 11, at 87. He will be missed.
—Adam Plunkett


"Summer at Blue Creek, North Carolina" was reprinted with permission from Alfred A/ Knopf, publishers.
|
Share This Story

Comments

Design Observer encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.
Read Complete Comments Policy >>


Name             

Email address 




Please type the text shown in the graphic.


|
Share This Story



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Gilbert, 1925-2012, published seven books of poems, including Refusing Heaven, for which he won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2005. Knopf released his Collected Poems earlier this year.
More Bio >>

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









RELATED POSTS


How to Visualize Poetry — And How Not to
Design Observer's poetry editor, Adam Plunkett, gives us a primer on visual poetry.

An Aposiopesis of Black Honey: or Variations on Dürer's Melancholia I
A visual poem from Jess.

Why
A poem by Philip Schultz.

Speaking Typography: Letter as Image as Sound
Just as a poet weaves the intent of his poem into its sound and craft, so did Lissitzky, as designer, hope to marry intent with the typography and the design of the book itself. But did he?

Women's Poetry
A poem by Dairy Fried.