Definition #144 (Jeanne from Queens #16) Remember

Jeanne and Paul at Quenby's Wedding  2007

Jeanne and Paul
at Quenby’s Wedding

Frost said poetry could make you “remember what you didn’t know you knew.”

The Couple in the Park

by Louise Glück

A man walks alone in the park and beside him a woman walks, also alone.
How does one know? It is as though a line exists between them, like a line on
a playing field. And yet, in a photograph they might appear a married cou-
ple, weary of each other and of the many winters they have endured togeth-
er. At another time, they might be strangers about to meet by accident. She
drops her book; stooping to pick it up, she touches, by accident, his hand and
her heart springs open like a child’s music box. And out of the box comes
a little ballerina made of wood. I have created this, the man thinks; though
she can only whirl in place, still she is a dancer of some kind, not simply a
block of wood. This must explain the puzzling music coming from the trees.

“The Couple in the Park” by Louise Glück from Faithful and Virtuous Night. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. Reprinted with permission.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul deLoca
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 09:13:41

    Nice picture, nice poem.

    I’ve sent only one text msg in my life, and this may be my only post from hereon.
    My only response I could think to post are two poems I often think about.
    I assume there is a reasonable word limit.

    The Peace of Wild Things

    When despair grows in me
    and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting for their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    Wendell Berry


    Snowbanks North of the House

    Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six

    feet from the house …
Thoughts that go so far.

    The boy gets out of high school and reads no more
the son stops calling home.
The mother puts down her rolling pin and makes no
more bread.

    And the wife looks at her husband one night at a

    party, and loves him no more.

    The energy leaves the wine, and the minister falls
leaving the church.

    It will not come closer
the one inside moves back, and the hands touch
nothing, and are safe.

    The father grieves for his son, and will not leave the
room where the coffin stands.
He turns away from his wife, and she sleeps alone.

    And the sea lifts and falls all night, the moon goes on

    through the unattached heavens alone.

    The toe of the shoe pivots
in the dust …

    And the man in the black coat turns, and goes back
down the hill.

    No one knows why he came, or why he turned away,

    and did not climb the hill.
    © Bly, Robert. 1981. from The Man in the Black Coat Turns.


  2. jeannepoland
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 11:13:57

    And so I learn my younger brother is a poet, a romantic poet!


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