Louise Gluck

(22 April 1943 / New York / United States)

Lullaby


My mother's an expert in one thing:
sending people she loves into the other world.
The little ones, the babies--these
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can't say
what she did for my father;
whatever it was, I'm sure it was right.

It's the same thing, really, preparing a person
for sleep, for death. The lullabies--they all say
don't be afraid, that's how they paraphrase
the heartbeat of the mother.
So the living grow slowly calm; it's only
the dying who can't, who refuse.

The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes--
they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.
Then they fly apart: in my mother's arms,
my sister was a cloud of atoms, of particles--that's the difference.
When a child's asleep, it's still whole.

My mother's seen death; she doesn't talk about the soul's integrity.
She's held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew
solid around them, finally changing to earth.

The soul's like all matter:
why would it stay intact, stay faithful to its one form,
when it could be free?

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: mother, sister, death, father, child, sleep, people, dark, world, children, baby, change

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 (Lullaby by Louise Gluck )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Remember me, micheal john
  2. For God and Country, John F. McCullagh
  3. Smoking is Injurious to Health, Aftab Alam
  4. While crying, let me smile, gajanan mishra
  5. Butterfly's Flight, Steve Kittell
  6. Then and Now, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  7. Atomic Genius, Naveed Akram
  8. Grieving, Phil Soar
  9. Watering the plants, gajanan mishra
  10. Wait for, hasmukh amathalal

Poem of the Day

poet Joyce Kilmer

(For the Rev. James J. Daly, S. J.)

Bright stars, yellow stars, flashing through the air,
Are you errant strands of Lady Mary's hair?
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. A Poison Tree, William Blake
  10. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]