Treasure Island

Lisel Mueller

(February 8, 1924)

Immortality


In Sleeping Beauty's castle
the clock strikes one hundred years
and the girl in the tower returns to the world.
So do the servants in the kitchen,
who don't even rub their eyes.
The cook's right hand, lifted
an exact century ago,
completes its downward arc
to the kitchen boy's left ear;
the boy's tensed vocal cords
finally let go
the trapped, enduring whimper,
and the fly, arrested mid-plunge
above the strawberry pie
fulfills its abiding mission
and dives into the sweet, red glaze.

As a child I had a book
with a picture of that scene.
I was too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger that causes fear persists,
that its trajectory can't be changed
or broken, only interrupted.
My attention was on the fly:
that this slight body
with its transparent wings
and life-span of one human day
still craved its particular share
of sweetness, a century later.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: anger, fear, girl, child, beauty, red, world, life, change, children, sleep

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Immortality by Lisel Mueller )

Enter the verification code :

  • Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 5:34:00 PM)

    Starts like a fairytale and ends on a disturbing but honest epiphany....another great poem by the poet. (Report) Reply

  • William Goldman (5/8/2014 6:29:00 PM)

    In the best of these poems, something dangerous, disturbing, hovers beneath the words - this is not surprising when you reflect on her life & background. This quality helps to give the poems just enough complexity and potential contradiction to make them beautiful. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The Night That Comes only Once, Akhtar Jawad
  2. The Goldsmith, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
  3. বাঁকা চোখে দেখো নাকো, Dr. Prabir Acharjee Nayan
  4. Cronyism, Tony Adah
  5. A Poppy Seed is Only A Poppy Seed and You?, Monk E. Biz
  6. Look At Me Straight, Dr. Prabir Acharjee Nayan
  7. SELF DISCOVERY 10 WORD, Beryl Dov
  8. The Child and Rain, Pranab K. Chakraborty
  9. LOVE IS..., Beryl Dov
  10. Baltic nights, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken

Poem of the Day

poet Helen Hunt Jackson

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]