End of Winter

By Louise Glück b. 1943 Louise Gluck
Over the still world, a bird calls
waking solitary among black boughs.

You wanted to be born; I let you be born.
When has my grief ever gotten
in the way of your pleasure?

Plunging ahead
into the dark and light at the same time
eager for sensation

as though you were some new thing, wanting
to express yourselves

all brilliance, all vivacity

never thinking
this would cost you anything,
never imagining the sound of my voice
as anything but part of you—

you won't hear it in the other world,
not clearly again,
not in birdcall or human cry,

not the clear sound, only
persistent echoing
in all sound that means good-bye, good-bye—

the one continuous line
that binds us to each other.

Louise Glück, “The End of Winter" from The Wild Iris. Copyright ©1992 by Louise Glück. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins.

Source: The Wild Iris (The Ecco Press, 1992)

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Poet Louise Glück b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Youth, Parenthood

Poetic Terms Metaphor

 Louise  Glück

Biography

Louise Glück is considered by many to be one of America’s most talented contemporary poets. The poet Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing,” and her poetry is noted for its technical precision, sensitivity, and insight into loneliness, family relationships, divorce, and death. Frequently described as “spare,” James K. Robinson in Contemporary Women Poets also noted that . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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