End of Winter by Louise Glück
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?
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
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
in all sound that means good-bye, good-bye—
the one continuous line
that binds us to each other.
© 1992 Louise Glück. “End of Winter” is taken from The Wild Iris, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993. Louise Glück is one of the most celebrated American poets of her generation. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020 “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
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