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Louise Glück

"Always nights I feel the ocean / Biting at my life."

Louise Glück, "The Egg," Firstborn (1968)

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"Birth, not death, is the hard loss."

Louise Glück, "Cottonmouth Country," Firstborn (1968)

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"... one never / Gets so close to anyone within experience."

Louise Glück, "Pictures of the People in the War," Firstborn (1968)

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"We had codes / In our house."

Louise Glück, "Scraps," Firstborn (1968)

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"Seven years I watched the next-door / Lady stroll her empty mate."

Louise Glück, "Late Snow," Firstborn (1968)

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"My first house shall be built on these sands, / My second in the sea."

Louise Glück, "Phenomenal Survivals of Death in Nantucket," Firstborn (1968)

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"Nights I turn to you to hold me / but you are not there."

Louise Glück, "Gretel in Darkness," The House on Marshland (1975)

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"You have only to wait, they will find you. / The geese flying low over the marsh, / glittering in black water. / They find you."

Louise Glück, "Messengers," The House on Marshland (1975)

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"And you never say / Leave me / since the dead do not like being alone."

Louise Glück, "The Fire," The House on Marshland (1975)

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"The garden admires you. / For your sake it smears itself with green pigment, / the ecstatic reds of the roses, / so that you will come to it with your lovers."

Louise Glück, "The Garden," Descending Figure (1980)

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"Then begins / the terrible charity of marriage, / husband and wife / climbing the green hill in gold light / until there is no hill, / only a flat plain stopped by the sky."

Louise Glück, "Epithalamium," Descending Figure (1980)

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"Of two sisters / one is always the watcher, / one the dancer."

Louise Glück, "Tango," Descending Figure (1980)

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"... our parents merged into the one / totemic creature: / Come, she said. Come to Mother."

Louise Glück, "Tango," Descending Figure (1980)

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"I sleep so you will be alive, / it is that simple."

Louise Glück, "The Dream of Mourning," Descending Figure (1980)

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"I have to tell you what I've learned, that I know now / what happens to the dreamers. / They don't feel it when they change. One day / they wake, they dress, they are old."

Louise Glück, "Marathon," The Triumph of Achilles (1985)

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"Why love what you will lose? / There is nothing else to love."

Louise Glück, "From the Japanese," The Triumph of Achilles (1985)

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"... mothers weep at their daughters' weddings, / everyone knows that, though / for whose youth one cannot say."

Louise Glück, "Morning," The Triumph of Achilles (1985)

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"The soul is silent. / If it speaks at all / it speaks in dreams."

Louise Glück, "Child Crying Out," Ararat (1990)

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"We don't have a dog. / We have a hostile cat. / I think Sam's / intelligent; he / resents being a pet."

Louise Glück, "Meadowlands I," Meadowlands (1996)

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"The advantage of poetry over life is that poetry, if it is sharp enough, may last. "

Louise Glück, "Against Sincerity," in The American Poetry Review (1993)

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"The unsaid, for me, exerts great power ..."

Louise Glück, "Disruption, Hesitation, Silence," Proofs and Theories (1995)

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"We look at the world once, in childhood, / The rest is memory."

Louise Glück, "Nostos," Meadowlands (1996)

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"You know why you cook? Because / you like control. A person who cooks is a person who likes / to create debt."

Louise Glück, "Void," Meadowlands (1996)

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"The master said You must write what you see. / But what I see does not move me. / The master answered Change What You See."

Louise Glück, epigraph, Vita Nova (1999)

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"Solace of the night sky, / the hardly moving / face of the clock."

Louise Glück, "Stars," The Seven Ages (2001)

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"We respect, here in America, / what is concrete, visible. We ask / What is it for? What does it lead to?"

Louise Glück, "Study of My Sister," The Seven Ages (2001)

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"We had the problem of age, the problem of wishing to linger. / Not needing, anymore, even to make a contribution. / Merely wishing to linger: to be, to be here."

Louise Glück, "Arboretum," The Seven Ages (2001)

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"There was a time / only certainty gave me / any joy. Imagine -- / certainty, a dead thing."

Louise Glück, "Ripe Peace," The Seven Ages (2001)

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"To get born, your body makes a pact with death, / and from that moment, all it tries to do is cheat -- ."

Louise Glück, "A Slip of Paper," A Village Life (2009)

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"You ask the sea, what can you promise me / and it speaks the truth; it says erasure."

Louise Glück, "March," A Village Life (2009)

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"My body, now that we will not be traveling together much longer / I begin to feel a new tenderness toward you, very raw and unfamiliar, / like what I remember of love when I was young --."

Louise Glück, "Crossroads," A Village Life (2009)

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"In the window, the moon is hanging over the earth, / meaningless but full of messages. / It's dead, it's always been dead, / but it pretends to be something else, / burning like a star, and convincingly, so that you feel sometimes / it could actually make something grow on earth."

Louise Glück, title poem, A Village Life (2009)

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"The love of form is a love of endings."

Louise Glück, "Celestial Music," Ararat (1990)

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Louise Glück, U.S. poet
(1943 - )