Jack Gilbert Poems

Jack Gilbert was an American poet and a prominent figure in the Beat Movement. He thought of himself as a “serious romantic” and published five collections throughout his life. His work also appeared in The American Poetry Review, Genesis West, and The Kenyon Review. His Collected Poems was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2013.

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

‘Failing and Flying’ by Jack Gilbert explores the idea that although something may ultimately fail, the process of arriving at that point may be a triumph.

The poem embodies Gilbert's use of concrete images and personal experiences to explore universal themes and emotions. The poem also reflects Gilbert's tendency to embrace life's struggles and to find beauty in even the most mundane moments.

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

It's the same when love comes to an end,

or the marriage fails and people say

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