Poetry Curated: “Daisies” by Louise Glück

I know what you’re going to say, “Annelies, it’s not April anymore. Poetry month has passed us by.” I agree with you on the first point. The latter point would require conversation.

Life is rife with poetry- why subject it to only one month’s notice?

I have wrestled with the suitability of posting other people’s poems here, notably poems published in books. Hence why, it is now almost the end of June and I am just rolling around to sharing my second poem from my curated selection of poems for Poetry Month.  My desire is to invoke a sense of longing in you to find a poem and a poet whose work speaks to your soul.

There is no attempt at copyright infringement intended, just a wanting and trying to share the infectious thing that is poetry, so we shall proceed, unless and until I am asked to remove the poems.

The collection of poems found in “The Wild Iris” by Louise Glück is radiant. The persona poems within embody such lush beauty.  I’ve selected “Daisies” below as part of poetry curated. What I particularly appreciate about this poem is how the line length and syntax sort of arrest you. It’s not an easy poem to get through and this is akin to the struggle between the natural world and the industrial that occurs everyday. Don’t believe me? Try taking a long leisurely walk outside during your lunch break tomorrow rather than the typical one you might partake of behind the desk. In this poem, the natural world resembles something “sentimental” but it demands all of you. We give up our hold and the hold of the natural world upon us far too easily.

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Wild Iris by Louise Gluck

 

Daisies
by Louise Gluck, from “The Wild Iris”

Go ahead: say what you’re thinking. The garden
is not the real world. Machines
are the real world. Say frankly what any fool
could read in your face: it makes sense
to avoid us, to resist
nostalgia. It is
not modern enough, the sound the wind makes
stirring a meadow of daisies: the mind
cannot shine following it. And the mind
wants to shine, plainly, as
machines shine, and not
grow deep, as, for example, roots. It is very touching,
all the same, to see you cautiously
approaching the meadow’s border in early morning,
when no one could possibly
be watching you. The longer you stand at the edge,
the more nervous you seem. No one wants to hear
impressions of the natural world: you will be
laughed at again; scorn will be piled on you.
As for what you’re actually
hearing this morning: think twice
before you tell anyone what was said in this field
and by whom.

3 comments on “Poetry Curated: “Daisies” by Louise Glück

  1. Esss- As you’re in the UK hankering for poetry, I would heartily suggest picking up this tome. There is a reason it won a Pulitzer.

    Terry & Sharona- I’ll be posting more poems over the coming weeks with both of you (and the closet poetry fanatics who are reading but not commenting). Let me know if there’s someone you would recommend to the list along the way.

    • Arrrggghhhh–neither the local library nor the Uni library have a copy! I will scope out the British Library next. Someone HAS to have it!

  2. Pingback: Louise Gluck and Happiness and Talks at the Poetry Forum « The Nightly Poem

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