Gilbert’s poems are not long. None more than a page long, and many almost sonnet-like in appearance, with uniform line length and a sense of rhythm, though not in iambic. Gilbert took his time with these and it shows. But they are not without passion. In fact, passion is seething under the surface of all these poems:
To See If Something Comes NextThere is nothing here at the top of the valley.Sky and morning, silence and the dry smellof heavy sunlight on the stone everywhere.Goats occasionally, and the sound of roostersin the bright heat where he lives with the deadwoman and purity. Trying to see if somethingcomes next. Wondering whether he has stalled.Maybe, he thinks, it is like the Noh: wheneverthe script says danses, whatever the actor does nextis a dance. If he stands still, he is dancing.—page 25
Though the poems were written at least twenty years ago, they feel alive. It’s hard to do a book like this justice in a review. Better if you just had the book in your hands and opened to a random page and discovered the magic yourself….