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The Great Fires Analysis



Author: poem of Jack Gilbert Type: poem Views: 27

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Love is apart from all things.

Desire and excitement are nothing beside it.

It is not the body that finds love.

What leads us there is the body.

What is not love provokes it.

What is not love quenches it.

Love lays hold of everything we know.

The passions which are called love

also change everything to a newness

at first. Passion is clearly the path

but does not bring us to love.

It opens the castle of our spirit

so that we might find the love which is

a mystery hidden there.

Love is one of many great fires.

Passion is a fire made of many woods,

each of which gives off its special odor

so we can know the many kinds

that are not love. Passion is the paper

and twigs that kindle the flames

but cannot sustain them. Desire perishes

because it tries to be love.

Love is eaten away by appetite.

Love does not last, but it is different

from the passions that do not last.

Love lasts by not lasting.

Isaiah said each man walks in his own fire

for his sins. Love allows us to walk

in the sweet music of our particular heart.






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