Lisel Mueller

(February 8, 1924)

Immortality


In Sleeping Beauty's castle
the clock strikes one hundred years
and the girl in the tower returns to the world.
So do the servants in the kitchen,
who don't even rub their eyes.
The cook's right hand, lifted
an exact century ago,
completes its downward arc
to the kitchen boy's left ear;
the boy's tensed vocal cords
finally let go
the trapped, enduring whimper,
and the fly, arrested mid-plunge
above the strawberry pie
fulfills its abiding mission
and dives into the sweet, red glaze.

As a child I had a book
with a picture of that scene.
I was too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger that causes fear persists,
that its trajectory can't be changed
or broken, only interrupted.
My attention was on the fly:
that this slight body
with its transparent wings
and life-span of one human day
still craved its particular share
of sweetness, a century later.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: anger, fear, girl, child, beauty, red, world, life, change, children, sleep

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Immortality by Lisel Mueller )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 0 Points Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 5:34:00 PM)

    Starts like a fairytale and ends on a disturbing but honest epiphany....another great poem by the poet. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie William Goldman (5/8/2014 6:29:00 PM)

    In the best of these poems, something dangerous, disturbing, hovers beneath the words - this is not surprising when you reflect on her life & background. This quality helps to give the poems just enough complexity and potential contradiction to make them beautiful. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. A PRELUDE (To December), Vinaya Joseph
  2. Lucien, Joseph Narusiewicz
  3. Ghazal - Qyamat Ho Gai Hay, Bano Ali
  4. Stand Up Witness Your Dream, Fatima Nusairat
  5. Zero Turkey Wing, Havilah
  6. Reading and Writing, umaprosad das
  7. The Afternoon, Leong Ming Loong
  8. Aligarh Muslim University & Raja Mahendr.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  9. Storm Warning, ESPN CHICK
  10. A Kiss To Otis Redding, Electric Lady

Poem of the Day

poet Joseph Addison

Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virûm! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
Virg. Geor. 2.

...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. If, Rudyard Kipling
  2. Oh, the places you'll go!, Adens Kamwi
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. A Late Walk, Robert Frost
  6. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  10. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]