Thursday, 22 August 2013

Day 398: Wounds

Louise Gluck is a poet who is not afraid to confront blunt psychological truths. And always in a personal confessional mode, in an effort you feel, to set herself free.

Untrustworthy Speaker - Louise Gluck 

Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken.
I don’t see anything objectively.

I know myself; I’ve learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
that’s when I’m least to be trusted.

It’s very sad, really: all my life, I’ve been praised
for my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight.
In the end, they’re wasted—

I never see myself,
standing on the front steps, holding my sister’s hand.
That’s why I can’t account
for the bruises on her arm, where the sleeve ends.

In my own mind, I’m invisible: that’s why I’m dangerous.
People like me, who seem selfless,
we’re the cripples, the liars;
we’re the ones who should be factored out
in the interest of truth.

When I’m quiet, that’s when the truth emerges.
A clear sky, the clouds like white fibers.
Underneath, a little gray house, the azaleas
red and bright pink.

If you want the truth, you have to close yourself
to the older daughter, block her out:
when a living thing is hurt like that,
in its deepest workings,
all function is altered.

That’s why I’m not to be trusted.
Because a wound to the heart
is also a wound to the mind.


  1. This poem is evocatively powerful in its truth!

  2. Isn't it just! Have you read any of her work Margie? It's very personal and powerful and emotionally resonant.

  3. Ouch. Painfully true.



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