“Poem”

From Louise Glück's New Collection, Winter Recipes from the Collective

October 29, 2021  By Louise Gluck
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Day and night come
hand in hand like a boy and a girl
pausing only to eat wild berries out of a dish
painted with pictures of birds.

They climb the high ice-covered mountain,
then they fly away. But you and I
don’t do such things—

We climb the same mountain;
I say a prayer for the wind to lift us
but it does no good;
you hide your head so as not
to see the end—

Downward and downward and downward and downward
is where the wind is taking us;

I try to comfort you
but words are not the answer;
I sing to you as mother sang to me—

Your eyes are closed. We pass
the boy and girl we saw at the beginning;
now they are standing on a wooden bridge;
I can see their house behind them;

How fast you go they call to us,
but no, the wind is in our ears,
that is what we hear—

And then we are simply falling—

And the world goes by,
all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last;

I touch your cheek to protect you—

__________________________________

Winter Recipes from the Collective

Excerpted from Winter Recipes from the Collective: Poems by Louise Glück. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2021 by Louise Glück. All rights reserved.




Louise Gluck
Louise Gluck
Louise Glück is the author of two collections of essays and more than a dozen books of poems. Her many awards include the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, the 2015 National Humanities Medal, the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris, the 2014 National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night, the 1985 National Book Critics Circle Award for The Triumph of Achilles, the 2001 Bollingen Prize, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poems 1962–2012, and the 2008 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and Stanford University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.








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