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Best Famous Louise Gluck Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Louise Gluck poems. This is a select list of the best famous Louise Gluck poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Louise Gluck poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Louise Gluck poems.

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by Louise Gluck |

The Triumph Of Achilles

 In the story of Patroclus
no one survives, not even Achilles
who was nearly a god.
Patroclus resembled him; they wore the same armor.
Always in these friendships one serves the other, one is less than the other: the hierarchy is always apparant, though the legends cannot be trusted-- their source is the survivor, the one who has been abandoned.
What were the Greek ships on fire compared to this loss? In his tent, Achilles grieved with his whole being and the gods saw he was a man already dead, a victim of the part that loved, the part that was mortal.

by Louise Gluck |

Early Darkness

 How can you say
earth should give me joy? Each thing
born is my burden; I cannot succeed
with all of you.
And you would like to dictate to me, you would like to tell me who among you is most valuable, who most resembles me.
And you hold up as an example the pure life, the detachment you struggle to acheive-- How can you understand me when you cannot understand yourselves? Your memory is not powerful enough, it will not reach back far enough-- Never forget you are my children.
You are not suffering because you touched each other but because you were born, because you required life separate from me.

by Louise Gluck |

Circes Torment

 I regret bitterly
The years of loving you in both
Your presence and absence, regret
The law, the vocation
That forbid me to keep you, the sea
A sheet of glass, the sun-bleached
Beauty of the Greek ships: how
Could I have power if
I had no wish
To transform you: as
You loved my body,
As you found there
Passion we held above
All other gifts, in that single moment
Over honor and hope, over
Loyalty, in the name of that bond
I refuse you
Such feeling for your wife
As will let you
Rest with her, I refuse you
Sleep again
If I cannot have you.

by Louise Gluck |


 To say I'm without fear--
It wouldn't be true.
I'm afraid of sickness, humiliation.
Like anyone, I have my dreams.
But I've learned to hide them, To protect myself From fulfillment: all happiness Attracts the Fates' anger.
They are sisters, savages-- In the end they have No emotion but envy.

by Louise Gluck |

First Memory

 Long ago, I was wounded.
I lived to revenge myself against my father, not for what he was-- for what I was: from the beginning of time, in childhood, I thought that pain meant I was not loved.
It meant I loved.

by Louise Gluck |

The Pond

 Night covers the pond with its wing.
Under the ringed moon I can make out your face swimming among minnows and the small echoing stars.
In the night air the surface of the pond is metal.
Within, your eyes are open.
They contain a memory I recognize, as though we had been children together.
Our ponies grazed on the hill, they were gray with white markings.
Now they graze with the dead who wait like children under their granite breastplates, lucid and helpless: The hills are far away.
They rise up blacker than childhood.
What do you think of, lying so quietly by the water? When you look that way I want to touch you, but do not, seeing as in another life we were of the same blood.

by Louise Gluck |

Circes Power

 I never turned anyone into a pig.
Some people are pigs; I make them Look like pigs.
I'm sick of your world That lets the outside disguise the inside.
Your men weren't bad men; Undisciplined life Did that to them.
As pigs, Under the care of Me and my ladies, they Sweetened right up.
Then I reversed the spell, showing you my goodness As well as my power.
I saw We could be happy here, As men and women are When their needs are simple.
In the same breath, I foresaw your departure, Your men with my help braving The crying and pounding sea.
You think A few tears upset me? My friend, Every sorceress is A pragmatist at heart; nobody sees essence who can't Face limitation.
If I wanted only to hold you I could hold you prisoner.

by Louise Gluck |

All Hallows

 Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken.
The oxen Sleep in their blue yoke, The fields having been Picked clean, the sheaves Bound evenly and piled at the roadside Among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises: This is the barrenness Of harvest or pestilence And the wife leaning out the window With her hand extended, as in payment, And the seeds Distinct, gold, calling Come here Come here, little one And the soul creeps out of the tree.

by Louise Gluck |


 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 of lilies; sunlight pools in their throats.
I watch him turn to her as though to speak her name but silently, deep in her mouth-- At the window ledge, once, twice, a bird calls.
And then she stirs; her body fills with his breath.
I open my eyes; you are watching me.
Almost over this room the sun is gliding.
Look at your face, you say, holding your own close to me to make a mirror.
How calm you are.
And the burning wheel passes gently over us.

by Louise Gluck |


 Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.
I did not expect to survive, earth suppressing me.
I didn't expect to waken again, to feel in damp earth my body able to respond again, remembering after so long how to open again in the cold light of earliest spring-- afraid, yes, but among you again crying yes risk joy in the raw wind of the new world.