The Silver Lily

By Louise Glück b. 1943 Louise Gluck
The nights have grown cool again, like the nights
of early spring, and quiet again. Will
speech disturb you? We're
alone now; we have no reason for silence.

Can you see, over the garden—the full moon rises.
I won't see the next full moon.

In spring, when the moon rose, it meant
time was endless. Snowdrops
opened and closed, the clustered
seeds of the maples fell in pale drifts.
White over white, the moon rose over the birch tree.
And in the crook, where the tree divides,
leaves of the first daffodils, in moonlight
soft greenish-silver.

We have come too far together toward the end now
to fear the end. These nights, I am no longer even certain
I know what the end means. And you, who've been with a man—

after the first cries,
doesn't joy, like fear, make no sound?

Louise Glück, "The Silver Lily" from The Wild Iris. Copyright © 1992 by Louise Glück. Reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

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

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Poet Louise Glück b. 1943

Subjects Spring, Living, Love, Youth, Nature, Growing Old, Relationships, Fall, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Imagery, 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 Spring, Living, Love, Youth, Nature, Growing Old, Relationships, Fall, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Imagery, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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