“the earth defeats me.”

I’ve been reading Lousie Glück lately, whatever that’s available on Tumblr. She’s apparently a visiting scholar in Stanford this quarter, teaching a class for undergrads – as are Molly Antopol and Joyce Carol Oates – but of course I found out too late. Okay, I probably wouldn’t even be eligible to apply. She also gave a poetry reading last week but I’d made prior engagement that same night and couldn’t attend. Sad.

She’s amazing, I see why she’s one of America’s best contemporary poets and a former Poet Laureate. Here’s my favorite  from her that I’ve come across thus far; her poetry touches me on a visceral level. Beautiful but haunting, ultimately heart-wrenching.

…In the silence of consciousness I asked myself:
why did I reject my life? And I answer
Die Erde überwältigt mich:

the earth defeats me.
I have tried to be accurate in this description
in case someone else should follow me. I can verify
that when the sun sets in winter it is
incomparably beautiful and the memory of it
lasts a long time. I think this means

there was no night.
The night was in my head.

— Louise Glück, Landscape


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