Bedside Table Series: #3
by PQ Contributing Editor Brian Fanelli
During my M.F.A. course work at Wilkes University, I plowed through dozens of poetry collections and essays. One of the books on the list was The Great Fires, poems by Jack Gilbert. At first, his dense lines and hard truths about love and language failed to move me in the same way other works on my list did, probably because I didn’t give the work the attention it requires, since I had so many other books to read in a limited amount of time. Now, a few years later, after Gilbert’s recent passing, I’ve revisited the book, finding much to enjoy, including sprawling similes, deep meditations, fantastic leaps of imagination, and clever references to past literary figures.