Louise Glück’s most recent books are American Originality: Essays on Poetry and the poetry collection Faithful and Virtuous Night, which won the National Book Award.
 (November 2019)


Afternoons and Early Evenings

The beautiful golden days when you were soon to be dying
but could still enter into random conversations with strangers,
random but also deliberate, so impressions of the world
were still forming and changing you,
and the city was at its most radiant, uncrowded in summer…


Day and night come hand in hand like a boy and a girl pausing only to eat wild berries out of a dish painted with pictures of birds. They climb the high ice-covered mountain, then they fly away. But you and I …


When the train stops, the woman said, you must get on it. But how will I know, the child asked, it is the right train? It will be the right train, said the woman, because it is the right time. A train approached the station; clouds …


We had the problem of age, the problem of wishing to linger. Not needing, anymore, even to make a contribution. Merely wishing to linger: to be, to be here. And to stare at things, but with no real avidity. To browse, to purchase nothing. But there …