Summer 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 3 Poetry |

Jack Gilbert

The one time I met him was at Halpern's 30th Street & 5th Avenue apartment, nineteen seventy something, on a roof that doubled as a sort of garden space where, on other occasions, Dan would roast a pig and we'd drink to the open sky or the cumulonimbus clouds drifting full-blown on parade—Gilbert came right at me, white wine tight in hand, almost nose to nose, "I'll bet it's Stevens, not Williams," a bet he would have won, having read me pretty well, with an Old Testament judgment that I was wrong and doomed. He wasn't tall, though he had a face sharpened with an edge of mind that seemed to cut the air, like the quartz cut to flint inside his poems. Later, I remembered his picture on the cover of Gerald Stern's Red Coal, the two of them, as young men, walking toward the camera, talking with their hands, completely unaware they'd live a whole day longer, with Paris at their backs, or that old age would mean they'd both survived, like Jeffers, Pittsburgh, as Stevens, at the end,

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Stanley Plumly’s most recent book of poems is Orphan Hours (W.W. Norton, 2012). His collection Old Heart won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2015, his book of prose The Immortal Evening won the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2010 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Read More

Elevens

By Stanley Plumly

The one time I met him was at Halpern's 30th Street & 5th Avenue apartment, nineteen seventy something, on a roof that doubled as a sort of garden space where, […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.