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 )
- ये कैसा शहर है, Aftab Alam
- कुछ कह नहीं पाता, Aftab Alam
- Jadavpur University Campus A Heaven For .., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Friends and foes, gajanan mishra
- Out There, Fatima Nusairat
- Immortal world, gajanan mishra
- Soulful smile, ramesh rai
- Perfection, Donnie Wolff
- Defiled, gajanan mishra
- Be It Trivial And Mundane, Lawrence S. Pertillar
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Heather Burns
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)