The Lost Hotels Of Paris


The Lord gives everything and charges

by taking it back. What a bargain.

Like being young for a while. We are

allowed to visit hearts of women,

to go into their bodies so we feel

no longer alone. We are permitted

romantic love with its bounty and half-life

of two years. It is right to mourn

for the small hotels of Paris that used to be

when we used to be. My mansard looking

down on Notre Dame every morning is gone,

and me listening to the bell at night.

Venice is no more. The best Greek islands

have drowned in acceleration. But it’s the having

not the keeping that is the treasure.

Ginsberg came to my house one afternoon

and said he was giving up poetry

because it told lies, that language distorts.

I agreed, but asked what we have

That gets it right even that much.

We look up at the stars and they are

not there. We see the memory

of when they were, once upon a time.

And that too is more than enough.

Jack Gilbert  July 2013 The Sun

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2 Responses to The Lost Hotels Of Paris

  1. Tara Crowley says:

    what a grand poem. it’s all illusive, isn’t it? but the trying to name it, to grasp it, is the beauty of it. it enriches the perceiver as well as those of us fortunate enough to view their interpretations.

  2. lindalou says:

    LOVED LOVED LOVED this nod to jack gilbert out of the Sun. he always was one of my favorites!

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