- Read it. Out loud.
- Love the obvious parts. Underline them.
- Read it again. Out loud.
- Read it each evening before bed, like a meditation.
- Lean on the obvious parts to bring out the obscured, the subtle, and the mysterious.
- Underline those parts, too.
- Enjoy finding something new each time you re-visit the rhythm, spaces, and text.
- Delight in discovering the complexities within those obvious parts you loved at first.
And that is how to love a poem, or anything.
A poem by Jack Gilbert from his book The Great Fires. It means something different, and more, to me each time I read it.
Highlights and Interstices
We think of lifetimes as mostly the exceptional
and sorrows. Marriage we remember as the children,
vacations, and emergencies. The uncommon parts.
But the best is often when nothing is happening.
The way a mother picks up the child almost without
noticing and carries her across Waller Street
while talking with the other woman. What if she
could keep all of that? Our lives happen between
the memorable. I have lost two thousand habitual
breakfasts with Michiko. What I miss most about
her is that commonplace I can no longer remember.