Louise Gluck

(22 April 1943 / New York / United States)

Celestial Music

Poem by Louise Gluck

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 about Celestial Music by Louise Gluck

  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (8/28/2019 11:39:00 AM)

    Well expressed thoughts and feelings. An insightful piece of poetry. Thanks for sharing...................................(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kevin PatrickKevin Patrick (7/26/2019 11:55:00 PM)

    The nonbeliever sees the material, the believer clings to what unmaterial, perhaps god is what dwells in the human spirit. Celestial music is heard by those with faith in their own divination. A wonderful poem.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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    1 person liked.
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  • Wapuvococe Smith (7/26/2019 10:09:00 PM)

    very nice post and awousm(Report)Reply

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  • Benjamin Uy (7/26/2019 5:27:00 PM)

    The love for forms, heaven and earth is celestial music. A great poem.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • paul amrod (7/26/2019 12:06:00 PM)

    Two opposing personality who both give a pluralistic view to their existence. A heart-warming story.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • rashik (7/26/2019 11:18:00 AM)

    A fantasy, a genuine occurring. The voice of the lyric does not know. There are some exotic lines in this and the lyrics isn't fixed on one experience as it were. There are three distinct angles in this ballad or subjects that it attempts to deal with. http: //www.4cashpath.com/(Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (7/26/2019 10:53:00 AM)

    Very nice poem indeed. Enjoyed very much.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Julia Luber (7/26/2019 10:53:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem of understanding through reflecting on somebody else's personality. I love that she shows how her friend, who is always talking to God, is actually more of the realist embracing the world AS IS, while she herself is not; this is a nice representation of God, that God can help you deal with reality instead of just escape it.(Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (7/26/2019 5:06:00 AM)

    A great write by Louise Gluck.....(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (7/26/2019 4:39:00 AM)

    Celestial music incorporated in a celestial poem. Enjoyed reading.Well deserved modern poem of the day.(Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (7/26/2019 4:35:00 AM)

    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.....fantastic expression. A beautiful poem of Louise Gluck is amazingly posting here.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (7/25/2019 3:54:00 AM)

    wow great words-

    It's this stillness we both love.
    The love of form is a love of endings.
    // superb and really a celestial poem(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/25/2019 2:13:00 AM)

    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.

    great and beautiful
    great 10+++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Yvonne Coleman-burneyYvonne Coleman-burney (10/17/2017 4:24:00 PM)

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

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Solomon NjokuSolomon Njoku (9/11/2017 2:53:00 PM)

    Nice impact (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (5/26/2017 12:39:00 PM)

    Some people take charge to make a difference and some people sit on the sidelines..it's a matter of circumstances and the results can be surprising.. very philosophical.. a ten..(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Raph Simon (12/11/2016 6:38:00 PM)

    This is plain banality, sophomoric poetry, and I will explain by showing why she does not raise to the Nobel level simply as follows:
    Every Grain of Sand by Bob (Nobel) Dylan.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Robert PleseRobert Plese (6/24/2015 10:41:00 PM)

    Thank you for that! The line She's always trying to make something whole, something beautiful, an image
    Capable of life apart from her really resonates with me. Well thought out!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Michelle ClausMichelle Claus (6/22/2014 12:20:00 PM)

    I like this poem very much. It feels contemplative. Its imagery and soft emotions are nicely versed. One steps out of this poem with an absence of answer, which is a feeling many of us share.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: friend, solitude, child, heaven, music, winter, snow, silence, beautiful, nature, mother, god, dark, death, love, sun, light, dream, believe, children



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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