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?
Louise Gluck's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Lullaby by Louise Gluck )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Talking Turkeys!, Benjamin Zephaniah
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
Poem of the Day
- A Song Of Joys, Walt Whitman
- Fließendes Grün, Floy Dy (Floyd) Ra (Floydson)
- Release yourself, Elena Ioannou
- BETCHE SAID PATIENCE, ANTHONY KIRUI
- Crazy Thing, Leah Ayliffe
- A Thought A Head, Ima Ryma
- **कधी कधी **, Lyrics Swapnild Chatge
- ** सागं ना 2 **, Lyrics Swapnild Chatge
- ** अबोल भावना मनातल्या **, Lyrics Swapnild Chatge
- I am Not Alone, Sandra Feldman