Celestial Music Poem by Louise Gluck

Celestial Music

Rating: 3.8


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Phyllis T. Halle 22 June 2012

IT IS SAD THAT ONE WHO IS DEVOID OF HOPE HAS ONLY DERISION FOR ONE WHO IS FILLED WITH HOPE. I FIND THIS POEM TO BE A WASTE OF WORDS!

3 16 Reply
Dr.subhendu Kar 22 June 2012

It's this stillness we both love. The love of form is a love of endings. simply beautiful write

6 1 Reply
Sandra Feldman 15 August 2017

Very well said! I whole heartily agree.

0 0 Reply
Yvonne Coleman-burney 17 October 2017

Another nice one - the thoughts of death and ending life, very well put together

3 4 Reply
xinlulvke 02 January 2021

Good poetry.

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 20 December 2020

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: great imagination, life's philosophy and reflection. tony

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 11 October 2020

The love of form is a love of endings. // great and mastermind line

0 0 Reply

The love of form......but the word " form" is very present in the poems of Louise Gluck, and I always feel some hesitation, before to translate it. Do you think that this simple word could have its importance? Pierre Mironer

0 0 Reply
Varada menon 09 October 2020

A poem full of inner meaning. How much peace can be achieved by accepting the inevitable truth.

0 0 Reply
P A Noushad 09 October 2020

Great verses which make me to think deeply about the truth

0 0 Reply

Louise Gluck

New York / United States
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