Jack Gilbert 1925 -

Comments (2)

I love this poem. It's the first one of his that I have read. It shocks the heart and destroys judgment- that's how it affected me anyway. Thanks for posting it.
Entering the website through the search phrase on Google of all poems of Jack Gilbert, and finding that tag on the site, clicking on it is not fruitful. I wanted to see his poem, Guilty, and got nothing in the search for it. Do you not, in fact, have all of his poems as the tag promises? I am disappointed, for Guilty is one of his great creations (in my opinion, of course) , and stands as a creative originality even in the context of his already creative originality generally. After writing this comment, I found I was able to locate the poem elsewhere and have copied and pasted it below for your consideration. I'd, of course, be interested in reactions. Guilty The man certainly looked guilty. Ugly, ragged, and not clean. Not to mention their finding him there in the woods with her body. Neighbors told how he was always playing with dead squirrels, mangled dogs, even snakes. He said those were the only things that would allow him to get close. Look at me, the old man said with uncomplaining simplicity, I'm already one of the dead among the dead. It's hard to watch things humiliated the way death does it. Possums smeared on the road, birds with ants eating out their eyes. Even dying rats want privacy for their disgrace. It's true I washed the dirt from her face and the blood off the body. Combed her hair. I slept beside her, at her feet for two days, the way my dog used to. I got the dress on the best I could. She looked so neglected. Like garbage thrown in the weeds. Like nobody cared because he had done that to her. I kept thinking about how long she is going to be alone now. I knew the police would take pictures and put them in the papers naked and open so people eating breakfast could look at her. I wanted to give her spirit enough time to get ready. Thank you for the opportunity to share this, Ronald