October (section I)

Louise Glück

 
Is it winter again, is it cold again,
didn't Frank just slip on the ice,
didn't he heal, weren't the spring seeds planted
didn't the night end,
didn't the melting ice
flood the narrow gutters
wasn't my body
rescued, wasn't it safe
didn't the scar form, invisible
above the injury
terror and cold,
didn't they just end, wasn't the back garden
harrowed and planted--
I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,
in stiff rows, weren't the seeds planted,
didn't vines climb the south wall
I can't hear your voice
for the wind's cries, whistling over the bare ground
I no longer care
what sound it makes
when was I silenced, when did it first seem
pointless to describe that sound
what it sounds like can't change what it is--
didn't the night end, wasn't the earth
safe when it was planted
didn't we plant the seeds,
weren't we necessary to the earth,
the vines, were they harvested?
 
Section I is reprinted from October by Louise Glück, published by Sarabande Books, Inc. Copyright © 2004 by Louise Glück. Reprinted by permission of Sarabande Books and the author. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

A Myth of Devotion by Louise Glück
When Hades decided he loved this girl
Persephone the Wanderer by Louise Glück
In the first version, Persephone...
The Myth of Innocence by Louise Glück
One summer she goes into the field as usual
The Night Migrations by Louise Glück
This is the moment when you see again
The Red Poppy by Louise Glück
The great thing
The Wild Iris by Louise Glück
At the end of my suffering
Vespers by Louise Glück
In your extended absence, you permit me
Witchgrass by Louise Glück


Further Reading

Poems about Gardens
from Fairies
by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
Letter to Brooks [Spring Garden]
by Major Jackson
A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918
by Natalie Clifford Barney
Angel of Duluth [excerpt]
by Madelon Sprengnether
Austerity
by Janet Loxley Lewis
Bulb Planting Time
by Edgar Guest
Digging Potatoes, Sebago, Maine
by Amy E. King
Done With
by Ann Stanford
Garden Homage
by Medbh McGuckian
Garden of Bees
by Matthew Rohrer
Herb Garden
by Timothy Steele
In the Garden
by Thomas Hardy
In the Happo-En Garden, Tokyo
by Linda Pastan
Loneliness
by Trumbull Stickney
Lucinda Matlock
by Edgar Lee Masters
My Garden with Walls
by William Brooks
osculation for easter flower
by Sandra Miller
Telling the Bees
by Deborah Digges
The Garden
by Andrew Marvell
The Garden Year
by Sara Coleridge
The Mower Against Gardens
by Andrew Marvell
The Public Garden
by Robert Lowell
They'll spend the summer
by Joshua Beckman
This Compost
by Walt Whitman
Trees in the Garden
by D. H. Lawrence
Poems About the Natural World
A Windflower
by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Amethyst Beads
by Eavan Boland
And the Intrepid Anthurium
by Pura López-Colomé
Atavism
by Elinor Wylie
Austerity
by Janet Loxley Lewis
Belong To
by David Baker
Butterfly Catcher
by Tina Cane
Crossings
by Ravi Shankar
Elders
by Louise Bogan
Escape
by Elinor Wylie
Farewell
by John Clare
February: The Boy Breughel
by Norman Dubie
Field
by Erin Belieu
Fish Fucking
by Michael Blumenthal
For-The-Spirits-Who-Have-Rounded-The-Bend IIVAQSAAT
by dg nanouk okpik
Four Poems for Robin
by Gary Snyder
God's World
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Imaginary June
by C. D. Wright
In a Blue Wood
by Richard Levine
In Michael Robins’s class minus one
by Bob Hicok
Kentucky River Junction
by Wendell Berry
maggie and milly and molly and may
by E. E. Cummings
Making It Up As You Go Along
by Bin Ramke
Monody to the Sound of Zithers
by Kay Boyle
Naskeag
by Alfred Corn
Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
by William Wordsworth
Of Many Worlds in This World
by Margaret Cavendish
Pastoral
by Jennifer Chang
Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Poppies on the Wheat
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Prairie Spring
by Willa Cather
Russian Birch
by Nathaniel Bellows
Scandal
by Lola Ridge
Song of Nature
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sonnet
by Bill Knott
Spontaneous Me
by Walt Whitman
Tanka
by Sadakichi Hartmann
The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Gladness of Nature
by William Cullen Bryant
The Leaves
by Deborah Digges
The Life So Short...
by Eamon Grennan
The Noble Nature
by Ben Jonson
The Parallel Cathedral
by Tom Sleigh
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
by Ezra Pound
The Wind and the Moon
by George Macdonald
There may be chaos still around the world
by George Santayana
Trees
by Joyce Kilmer
Two Butterflies went out at Noon— (533)
by Emily Dickinson
Vantage
by Alan Shapiro
Vision
by Robert Penn Warren
What's the railroad to me?
by Henry David Thoreau
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Work Without Hope
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge