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February 21st, 2017 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 321,198 comments.
Jack Gilbert - The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite.  Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong.  We say bread and it means according
to which nation.  French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure.  A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment.  I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can.  Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling.  And maybe not.  When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records.  But what if they
are poems or psalms?  My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton.  My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey.  Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body.  Giraffes are this
desire in the dark.  Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map.  What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 12972 times | Comments and analysis of The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart by Jack Gilbert Comments (265)

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart - Comments and Information

Poet: Jack Gilbert
Poem: The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart
Volume: Great Fires
Year: Published/Written in 1999

Comment 265 of 265, added on January 31st, 2017 at 3:44 PM.
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Comment 264 of 265, added on November 26th, 2016 at 5:20 PM.
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Comment 263 of 265, added on November 28th, 2015 at 5:54 AM.
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