The Books of My Numberless Dreams


Posted on: July 19, 2007


Snow had fallen. I remember
music from an open window.

Come to me, said the world.
This is not to say
it spoke in exact sentences
but that I perceived beauty in this manner.

Sunrise. A film of moisture
on each living thing. Pools of cold light
formed in the gutters.

I stood
at the doorway,
ridiculous as it now seems.

What others found in art,
I found in nature. What others found
in human love, I found in nature.
Very simple. But there was no voice there.

Winter was over. In the thawed dirt,
bits of green were showing.

Come to me, said the world. I was standing
in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal —
I can finally say
long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty

the healer, the teacher —

death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.

Louise Glück


9 Responses to "October"

Lovely poem and lovely analysis. You really express your thoughts wonderfully and with such articulation! I really feel inspired but can never come up with anything!!

Thanks so much Heather. I always appreciate your regular feedback on my poetry posts.

Beautiful. I love the tone, especially. The second stanza is perhaps my favourite. It challenges sentimentality in a way, does it not? I also love the repetition of the “I found in nature” piece. It gives such insight into the voice, the personality behind the poem.

Yay, glad you both liked it. It’s my favourite from what I’ve read so far.

John I loved that repetition. You’re right it does give insight into her personality since Gluck has a very deep felt, inextricable connection with nature. I also love how she conveys so many things with a deft simplicity. It’s great! You should try one of her books. This one is from Averno her latest one and my first.

Did she find beauty in nature like some see beauty in art or in human love? But nature does not reciprocate. Life has harmed her thus she is unafraid of death. To me this is a sad poem. There is mistrust and cynicism in it. Very interesting! Yes, I like the poem, poems are great you can read them many times and each time pick up on something that the poet is trying to express.

This is from “averno” by Louise Glück, yes? Have to go check out the library now. Thanks for posting this

MissDaisyAnne I love that your interepretation is such a departure from mine. I don’t think that having a wonderful life means that a) it follows that one would or should be afraid of death or that b) it involves not being harmed or hurt in some way. For all the obstacles she had faced she described her life as “beautiful” which hardly seems cynical to me either.

I suppose it all stands on the fifth stanza doesn’t it. Perhaps if she had said she found everything in art and human love I could take that to mean that she’s something of a misanthrope but I think she’s referring to specific things. I’m attracted to it because too many people are completely disconnected from nature in a way that makes them proud of destroying it. Because its theirs.

Dark O it is! You’re very welcome and I’m happy to see us responding so well to the poem. It’s probably a first for any of poets that I’ve featured here (except Milton, but that’s narrative stuff).

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