Lisel Mueller

(February 8, 1924)

Lisel Mueller Poems

1. Paul Delvaux: The Village of the Mermaids 9/30/2015
2. Sometimes, When the Light 4/30/2015
3. Reasons for Numbers 6/22/2015
4. The End of Science Fiction 6/23/2015
5. Bedtime Story 1/13/2003
6. Five For Country Music 1/13/2003
7. Another Version 1/13/2003
8. Blood Oranges 1/13/2003
9. For A Thirteenth Birthday 1/13/2003
10. Curriculum Vitae 1/13/2003
11. A Day Like Any Other 1/13/2003
12. Reading The Brothers Grimm To Jenny 1/13/2003
13. Why We Tell Stories 1/13/2003
14. Things 1/13/2003
15. Scenic Route 1/13/2003
16. Alive Together 1/13/2003
17. Immortality 1/13/2003
18. The Laughter Of Women 1/13/2003
19. What The Dog Perhaps Hears 1/13/2003
20. Monet Refuses The Operation 1/13/2003
21. Moon Fishing 1/13/2003

Comments about Lisel Mueller

  • Dave Ross (5/10/2014 7:38:00 AM)

    Elegant, eloquent, sparse, lithe poetry.
    So much, with so little.
    Thank you, Lisel Mueller.

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan Hill (5/9/2014 2:46:00 PM)

    I'd just finished writing a lyrical letter to my grandmother (dead for over thirty years) about how the world is becoming more transparent and mystical since I've grown older and am now a grandmother when I read Mueller's poem. Lisel Mueller captured the beauty of aging-able to see, finally, the gracefulness that seems to magically appear. That we could not see the world in such poetic beauty when we were young, I now understand. I refuse the operation to restore the sight of youth, as well.

  • Pam Crane (5/8/2014 11:49:00 PM)

    'Monet Refuses the Operation is so utterly beautiful, I want to share it with my Writers' Club. What a sensitive and expressive poet is Lisel!

  • David Harris (5/8/2014 8:29:00 PM)

    I loved Monet refuses the operation. It rings so many bells - bells I have only discovered in the decade or so since I retired and have time for reflection. It's the time when old age has led me to focus on what is really valuable in life, and imagination and dreams are right at the top of the list - up there with love.

  • William Goldman (5/8/2014 6:03:00 PM)

    Of Monet refuses the Operation, I like the line
    Doctor, if only you could see
    how heaven pulls earth into its arms

  • David H. Partington (5/8/2014 5:41:00 PM)

    Finally! A contemporary, or modern, poet whose work appeals to me. Thank you.

  • Patricia Lamb (8/24/2013 7:07:00 AM)

    It's my Birthday, it's Christmas, it's all the best days of the year in one- I am as excited as any child on that day- because I have just discovered your works Lisel- out with Neruda, in with Mueller, my new favourite poet- oh yum and yum and yum. Delicious- how have I not met you till now? Excuse me now- off to hunt for your books -such mouthwatering anticipation, such a feast to sit down to. Thankyou thankyou thankyou, Lady.

  • Harry Hopkins iii Harry Hopkins iii (5/10/2012 7:35:00 AM)

    Loved Monet Refuses The Operation...a wonderful enchanted walk in the heart and mind....: -)

  • Claudia Moline (5/8/2012 6:01:00 PM)

    Thanks for sending me one of her poems. I'm only discovering her today and mean to keep on reading her from now on. Loved what I've read so far. Subtle, moving, wise.High quality literature.

Best Poem of Lisel Mueller

Moon Fishing

When the moon was full they came to the water.
some with pitchforks, some with rakes,
some with sieves and ladles,
and one with a silver cup.

And they fished til a traveler passed them and said,
"Fools,
to catch the moon you must let your women
spread their hair on the water --
even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing
net of shimmering threads,
gasp and flop till its silver scales
lie black and still at your feet."

And they fished with the hair of their women
till a traveler passed them and said,
"Fools,
do you think the moon is caught ...

Read the full of Moon Fishing

Scenic Route

For Lucy, who called them "ghost houses."


Someone was always leaving
and never coming back.
The wooden houses wait like old wives
along this road; they are everywhere,
abandoned, leaning, turning gray.

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