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The Wild Iris -- Louise Glück

Guest poem sent in by Alan Kornheiser

I discovered, to my amazement, that we seem to have no poetry by Louise
Gluck. This must be amended; hence the following:
(Poem #1224) The Wild Iris
 At the end of my suffering
 there was a door.

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

 Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
 Then nothing. The weak sun
 flickered over the dry surface.

 It is terrible to survive
 as consciousness
 buried in the dark earth.

 Then it was over: that which you fear, being
 a soul and unable
 to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
 bending a little.  And what I took to be
 birds darting in low shrubs.

 You who do not remember
 passage from the other world
 I tell you I could speak again: whatever
 returns from oblivion returns
 to find a voice:

 from the center of my life came
 a great fountain, deep blue
 shadows on azure sea water.
-- Louise Glück
Nothing is harder than the nature poem; to accurately describe the physical
world, to say something beyond description while still keeping one's
description exact: harder than it seems. Much harder. Here where I live, the
first Iris reticulata is just now forcing itself through the snow, a
foolhardy splash of wonderful purple.

This is the very first Gluck poem I ever read. I still love it. Comments
from other fans would be appreciated; I didn't enjoy her last book as much
as I wanted to, and I wonder if the fault is in me or it. Anyway, we have
The Wild Iris. And it is spring.
Alan S Kornheiser, PhD


   [broken link]

 And a couple of Louise Gluck sites
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64 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

susan a said...

Gosh. Thank you. That is just achingly beautiful. What a wonderful start to my week.

susan a

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Louise Gluck's poetry is amazing - many people can relate.

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