Louise Glück

copyright ©2009

The earth has vanished.
There’s nothing to see, only the rain
gleaming against the dark windows.
This is the resting place, where nothing moves —

Now we return to what we were,
animals living in darkness
without language or vision —

Nothing proves I’m alive.
There is only the rain, the rain is endless.

Notes on the Poem

This week’s poem is from the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize-shortlisted collection, A Village Life, by Louise Glück (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Of the collection, the judges said: “In A Village Life, Louise Glück presents us with a choir of voices whose song enacts and contemplates our human quest for the very happiness that — as if instinctively — we refuse. The result is a restlessness that seems never to leave us, as Glück suggests in “In the Café”: “It’s natural to be tired of earth. / When you’ve been dead this long, you’ll probably be tired of heaven. / You do what you can do in a place / but after a while you exhaust that place, / so you long for rescue.” This clarity of wisdom everywhere punctuates these poems which, even as they concern restlessness, are cast in long lines shot through with imagery of pristine, archetypal simplicity producing a cinematic stillness; one thinks of the camera in a Bergman film." Listen to Louise Glück read from her collection here.

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