Louise Gluck

Louise Gluck Poems

I have a friend who still believes in heaven.
Not a stupid person, yet with all she knows, she literally talks to God.
She thinks someone listens in heaven.
On earth she's unusually competent.
...

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
...

I'll tell you something: every day
people are dying. And that's just the beginning.
Every day, in funeral homes, new widows are born,
new orphans. They sit with their hands folded,
...

Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was--
...

I never turned anyone into a pig.
Some people are pigs; I make them
Look like pigs.
...

A man and a woman lie on a white bed.
It is morning. I think
Soon they will waken.
On the bedside table is a vase
...

My mother's an expert in one thing:
sending people she loves into the other world.
The little ones, the babies--these
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can't say
...

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
Sleep in their blue yoke,
The fields having been
...

9.

What does the horse give you
That I cannot give you?

I watch you when you are alone,
...

How can you say
earth should give me joy? Each thing
born is my burden; I cannot succeed
with all of you.
...

Orange blossoms blowing over Castile
children begging for coins

I met my love under an orange tree
...

Speak to me, aching heart: what
Ridiculous errand are you inventing for yourself
Weeping in the dark garage
With your sack of garbage: it is not your job
...

To say I'm without fear--
It wouldn't be true.
I'm afraid of sickness, humiliation.
Like anyone, I have my dreams.
...

There is always something to be made of pain.
Your mother knits.
She turns out scarves in every shade of red.
They were for Christmas, and they kept you warm
...

15.

No one's despair is like my despair--

You have no place in this garden
thinking such things, producing
...

16.

You want to know how I spend my time?
I walk the front lawn, pretending
to be weeding. You ought to know
I'm never weeding, on my knees, pulling
...

In the end, I made myself
Known to your wife as
A god would, in her own house, in
Ithaca, a voice
...

The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
...

The great man turns his back on the island.
Now he will not die in paradise
nor hear again
the lutes of paradise among the olive trees,
...

Requiring something lovely on his arm
Took me to Stamford, Connecticut, a quasi-farm,
His family's; later picking up the mammoth
Girlfriend of Charlie, meanwhile trying to pawn me off
...

Louise Gluck Biography

Born in 1943, Louise Glück is an American poet. She was born in New York City and grew up in Long Island. Her father helped invent the X-Acto Knife. Glück graduated in 1961 from George W. Hewlett High School, in Hewlett, New York. She went on to attend Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris. Glück is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award (Triumph of Achilles), the Academy of American Poet's Prize (Firstborn), as well as numerous Guggenheim fellowships. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was previously a Senior Lecturer in English at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Glück currently teaches at Yale University, where she is the Rosencranz Writer in Residence, and in the Creative Writing Program of Boston University. She has also been a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa. Glück is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Averno (2006); The Seven Ages (2001); Vita Nova (1999), which was awarded The New Yorker's Book Award in Poetry; Meadowlands (1996); The Wild Iris (1992), which received the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award; Ararat (1990), which received the Library of Congress's Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry; and The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Poetry Society of America's Melville Kane Award. The First Four Books collects her early poetry. Louise Glück has also published a collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. Sarabande Books published in chapbook form a new, six-part poem, October, in 2004. In 2001 Yale University awarded Louise Glück its Bollingen Prize in Poetry, given biennially for a poet's lifetime achievement in his or her art. Her other honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Sara Teasdale Memorial Prize (Wellesley, 1986), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anniversary Medal (2000), and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1999 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2003 she was named as the new judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and continues to serve in that position. Glück was appointed the US Poet Laureate from 2003-2004, succeeding Billy Collins.)

The Best Poem Of Louise Gluck

Celestial Music

I have a friend who still believes in heaven.
Not a stupid person, yet with all she knows, she literally talks to God.
She thinks someone listens in heaven.
On earth she's unusually competent.
Brave too, able to face unpleasantness.

We found a caterpillar dying in the dirt, greedy ants crawling over it.
I'm always moved by disaster, always eager to oppose vitality
But timid also, quick to shut my eyes.
Whereas my friend was able to watch, to let events play out
According to nature. For my sake she intervened
Brushing a few ants off the torn thing, and set it down
Across the road.

My friend says I shut my eyes to God, that nothing else explains
My aversion to reality. She says I'm like the child who
Buries her head in the pillow
So as not to see, the child who tells herself
That light causes sadness-
My friend is like the mother. Patient, urging me
To wake up an adult like herself, a courageous person-

In my dreams, my friend reproaches me. We're walking
On the same road, except it's winter now;
She's telling me that when you love the world you hear celestial music:
Look up, she says. When I look up, nothing.
Only clouds, snow, a white business in the trees
Like brides leaping to a great height-
Then I'm afraid for her; I see her
Caught in a net deliberately cast over the earth-

In reality, we sit by the side of the road, watching the sun set;
From time to time, the silence pierced by a birdcall.
It's this moment we're trying to explain, the fact
That we're at ease with death, with solitude.
My friend draws a circle in the dirt; inside, the caterpillar doesn't move.
She's always trying to make something whole, something beautiful, an image
Capable of life apart from her.
We're very quiet. It's peaceful sitting here, not speaking, The composition
Fixed, the road turning suddenly dark, the air
Going cool, here and there the rocks shining and glittering-
It's this stillness we both love.
The love of form is a love of endings.

Louise Gluck Comments

Jeff Dryer 19 February 2005

This is not your poem. Good try though. Its by John Donne.

5 28 Reply
Sylva Portoian 12 December 2009

I liked the Third Stanza: ' How can you understand me, if you can't understand your self.'

14 8 Reply
Jacqui Thewless 20 April 2010

I'm wondering why my comment about Matins seems to have been repeated (not by myself) .

10 8 Reply
Savita Tyagi 14 October 2015

wonderful! Such deep insight in emotional understanding.

8 3 Reply
Richard Beevor 28 May 2014

All Hallows has a lovely dark chill that gives me a tingle, one of my favourite poems as of today, you are a wonderful poet, I wish I could aspire to your heights, thank you for your work.

5 4 Reply
R.A. Burleigh 19 February 2021

Poetic prose smells to me like a rose.

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 21 December 2020

WOW! Dear Respected great Poetess. CONGRATULATIONS for winning The Nobel Prize 2020 for Literature. I am very proud of you, since you are POETESS. Unimaginable proud of you great Poetess! I You are supremely worthy of the honour. CONGRATULATIONS again. God Blesses you greatest together with your great and wonderful family.

1 2 Reply
sara yanarocak 30 October 2020

i think they are so sad but never hopelesness

1 0 Reply
carl Westhof 18 October 2020

Her poetry is not poetry, it is prose. Better puke.Come on folks lets get a real poet!

2 7 Reply
P A Noushad 12 October 2020

Louise Gluck the depth of insight about my life I get from your poems.

1 1 Reply

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