Louise Gluck

New York / United States
Louise Gluck
New York / United States
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Lullaby

Rating: 3.8
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
what she did for my father;
whatever it was, I'm sure it was right.

It's the same thing, really, preparing a person
for sleep, for death. The lullabies--they all say
don't be afraid, that's how they paraphrase
the heartbeat of the mother.
So the living grow slowly calm; it's only
the dying who can't, who refuse.

The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes--
they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.
Then they fly apart: in my mother's arms,
my sister was a cloud of atoms, of particles--that's the difference.
When a child's asleep, it's still whole.

My mother's seen death; she doesn't talk about the soul's integrity.
She's held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew
solid around them, finally changing to earth.

The soul's like all matter:
why would it stay intact, stay faithful to its one form,
when it could be free?
COMMENTS
Dr Antony Theodore 20 December 2020
My mother's seen death; she doesn't talk about the soul's integrity. She's held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew solid around them, finally changing to earth. great poem and thoughts. tony
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Mahtab Bangalee 04 November 2020
It's the same thing, really, preparing a person for sleep, for death...... It's the same thing, really, preparing a person for sleep, for death....// excellent expression; heart touching; An extraordinary expression on death with combination of the word sleeps or Lullaby
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Dr Antony Theodore 03 November 2020
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can't say what she did for my father; whatever it was, I'm sure it was right. very good poem. tony
0 0 Reply
Dhanalakshmi karnayuni 10 October 2020
It’s marvellous poem... heart touching
0 0 Reply
P A Noushad 08 October 2020
I am very proud, being you are my friend, your verses touch me deeply
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Adeeb Alfateh 26 July 2019
My mother's seen death; she doesn't talk about the soul's integrity. She's held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew solid around them, finally changing to earth. GREATLY WRITTEN THE LULLABY GREAT 10++++++++++++
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M Asim Nehal 27 November 2016
Excellent poem and feeling sleepy after this lullaby..10
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Pranab K Chakraborty 27 November 2016
The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes- they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.............So brilliant the wit to expose big thing within a limit of no expanse. Thanks.
1 1 Reply
Indira Renganathan 27 November 2016
Interesting spiritual poem- -10
2 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 27 November 2016
The Creator owns the spirit! He created everything. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
1 1 Reply

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