Louise Gluck

Louise Gluck




comes into the world unwelcome

calling disorder, disorder—


If you hate me so much

don’t bother to give me

a name: do you need

one more slur

in your language, another

way to blame

one tribe for everything—


as we both know,

if you worship

one god, you only need

one enemy—


I’m not the enemy.

Only a ruse to ignore

what you see happening

right here in this bed,

a little paradigm

of failure.  One of your precious flowers

dies here almost every day

and you can’t rest until

you attack the cause, meaning

whatever is left, whatever

happens to be sturdier

than your personal passion—


It was not meant

to last forever in the real world.

But why admit that, when you can go on

doing what you always do,

mourning and laying blame,

always the two together.


I don’t need your praise

to survive.  I was here first,

before you were here, before

you ever planted a garden.

And I’ll be here when only the sun and moon

are left, and the sea, and the wide field.


I will constitute the field.


From THE WILD IRIS (The Ecco Press, 1992)



Poems by Louise Glück

Penelope's Song

Brown Circle



First Memory
(Available as a broadside.)