Refusing Heaven

ISBN-10: 037571085X

ISBN-13: 9780375710858

Edition: 2007

Authors: Jack Gilbert

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More than a decade after Jack Gilbert's "The Great Fires," this highly anticipated new collection shows the continued development of a poet who has remained fierce in his avoidance of the beaten path. In "Refusing Heaven," Gilbert writes compellingly about the commingled passion, loneliness, and sometimes surprising happiness of a life spent in luminous understanding of his own blessings and shortcomings: " The days and nights wasted . . . Long hot afternoons / watching ants while the cicadas railed / in the Chinese elm about the brevity of life." Time slows down in these poems, as Gilbert creates an aura of curiosity and wonder at the fact of existence itself. Despite powerful intermittent griefs- over the women he has parted from or the one lost to cancer (an experience he captures with intimate precision)- Gilbert's choice in this volume is to " refuse heaven." He prefers this life, with its struggle and alienation and delight, to any paradise. His work is both a rebellious assertion of the call to clarity and a profound affirmation of the world in all its aspects. It braces the reader in its humanity and heart. "From the Hardcover edition."
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/13/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

Jack Gilbert was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 17, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh in 1954 and a master's from San Francisco State in 1963. He also attended Jack Spicer's Magic Poetry Workshop. His first collection of poetry, Views of Jeopardy, won the 1961 Yale Younger Poets Prize and was published in 1962. His other works include Monolithos, which won the Stanley Kunitz Prize and the American Poetry Review Prize; The Dance Most of All; Transgressions: Selected Poems; Refusing Heaven, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; and The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992. He died after developing pneumonia on November 13, 2012 at the age of 87.

A Brief for the Defense
Naked Except for the Jewelry
Put Her in the Fields for Kindness
What Song Should We Sing
Having the Having
Say You Love Me
Elegy for Bob
More Than Sixty
By Small and Small: Midnight to Four A.M.
Once Upon a Time
A Close Call
The Rooster
Failing and Flying
The Other Perfection
A Ball of Something
Getting Away With It
The Abandoned Valley
Happening Apart from What's Happening Around It
Exceeding the Spirit
Meditation Eleven: Reading Blake Again
How Much of That is Left in Me?
'Tis Here! 'Tis Here! 'Tis Gone!
Being Young Back Then
Not Getting Closer
Seen from Above
Getting Closer
The Mail
Less Being More
Homage to Wang Wei
The Butternut Tree at Fort Juniper
Doing Poetry
The Sweet Taste of the Night
Trying to Write Poetry
A Kind of Courage
Happily Planting the Beans Too Early
What to Want
Bring in the Gods
The Negligible
The Lost Hotels of Paris
Feathers or Lead
What Plenty
The Garden
Music is in the Piano Only When it is Played
Winning on the Black
Refusing Heaven
The Friendship Inside Us
A Thanksgiving Dance
Horses at Midnight Without a Moon
A Kind of Decorum
A Walk Blossoming
Farming in Secret
December Ninth, 1960
Not the Happiness but the Consequence of Happiness
The Reinvention of Happiness
Looking at Pittsburgh from Paris
"My Eyes Adored You"
Beyond Pleasure
The Good Life
Flat Hedgehogs
Prospero Listening to the Night
The End of Paradise
The Lost World
Maybe Very Happy
The Manger of Incidentals
The Thirty Favorite Lives: Amager
What I've Got
In the Beginning
A Taste for Grit and Whatever
Maybe She is Here
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