Louise Glück

Louise Glück (born in New York City in 1943) has just been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal“.

Here is one of her poems, which has often been likened to a feminist anthem, from the collection “The Triumph of Achilles” (1985).

Mock Orange
 
It is not the moon, I tell you.
It is these flowers
lighting the yard.
 
I hate them.
I hate them as I hate sex,
the man’s mouth
sealing my mouth, the man’s
paralyzing body—
 
and the cry that always escapes,
the low, humiliating
premise of union—
 
In my mind tonight
I hear the question and pursuing answer
fused in one sound
that mounts and mounts and then
is split into the old selves,
the tired antagonisms. Do you see?
We were made fools of.
And the scent of mock orange
drifts through the window.
 
How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?



 

flickr : Allen Gathman – “White-Blue Flower Shapes” (1919) – Georgia O’Keeffe

Mock Orange or Philadelphus Virginal is a deciduous shrub of great beauty when in bloom, whose fragrant, citrus-scented white flowers may resemble orange blossoms.

In this poem these flowers symbolize both inauthenticity, as they mimic orange blossoms without genuinely belonging to the same species, and power,  as their “light” is superior to that of the moon  because they can create a beautiful  luminescence that floods the yard.

These two associations are also linked to the act of sex, always suffocated by the dominant man.

And if her flesh and her feminine desire for companionship interfere with her search for wholeness, she realizes she cannot find it through her submission to a man. Therefore she feels appalled by the bondage of her body to the physical world and, shaking off any resignation, she assesses her wish to resist participating in a masculinized system of sexuality implying domination and objectification.

But the final scent of the flowers is a reminder of her own fate inherent in her femininity and sealed by what a woman is meant to be: gentle, nurturing, submissive. Sex has been an illusion, highlighted by the association to those inedible fruits and alluring flowers.

Fiori d’angelo
 
Non è la luna, credimi,
ma sono questi fiori
che danno luce al cortile.
 
Li odio.
Li odio come odio il sesso,
la bocca dell'uomo
che mi sigilla la bocca, il suo
corpo che mi immobilizza -
 
e il grido che sfugge sempre,
bassa, umiliante
premessa di unione -
 
Nella mia mente stasera
sento la domanda e la risposta che ne segue
fuse in un unico suono
che monta e monta e poi
si divide negli antichi sé,
i fiacchi antagonismi. Vedi?
Siamo stati presi in giro.
E il profumo dei fior d’arancio
viene trasportato attraverso la finestra.
 
Come posso riposare?
Come posso essere appagata
quando c'è ancora
quell'odore nel mondo?
(L.Z.)
 

45 thoughts on “Louise Glück

  1. The Women rock, I’d say. She is the third one to get in the top and I am so happy about it. by the way, I didn’t know about her, might because of in Germany, they don’t care so much on her poems, though interestingly, as Germany always like to do; germaning so many people as possible! they write her name with the announcement of her winning, Glück, The ü is a form of changing the vocables and it is generally a part of German grammar and also in the Northern countries. thanks a lot for sharing her nice poem. 🙏🥰💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LUISA, for some reason the image scared me I have no idea why my birthday will be on the 25th of this month I’ll be 68 I have no idea why the image scared me. I have a very open mind I love men I’ve Loved men since 5 years old and I love handsome men I love short men tall men bald men men with Gorgeous Hair muscular men non muscular men all kinds of men and they love me in a very platonic way but I don’t know why the image scared me I almost thought it was ugly isn’t that amazing and I do understand Georgia O’Keeffe and I do understand her paintings,, artwork in fact when I was about 25 I had a chance to buy not the authentic but I had a chance to buy the red poppy it was huge and I put it above our bed my husband had to look at it all the time I don’t think it reminded him of me he didn’t know me that well unfortunately for him haha ,,thank you good story again again and again I love your work hun .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. strana poesia, mi incuriosisce per i temi che affronta e per il grido di ribellione che contiene: mi fa ricordare la ribellione dell’antica e mitica Lilith e la sua ansia di libertà. Mi fa pensare che la rivolta per la libertà sessuale sia spesso emblema di ribellione contro ogni forma di dominio

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LUISA This was great I enjoyed, it very interesting . Sorry I couldn’t be online for days no POWER at all Just around the capital district 180,000 without any service and it was cold at night . Most of us don’t have generators or wood BURNING stoves .Some electric COMING back on slowly. Today temperatures are in 70,s 😲🤪 .Many roofs blown off , Lots of trees down wrapped up in electric vehicles and power lines 🤑🤑🤑. My LOVELY car was smashed up pretty badly ,only one on the whole street ,WHY???? 🤑 BUT I SAY NOW WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM THIS TO ?? WELL, WHO CARED , WHO HELPED WITH ALL THE GLASS SO LITTLE ANIMALS DIDNT GET THEIR FEET UP COMING TO EAT THAT NITE .BASICALLY WHO COULD I GET IN TOUCH WITH THAT MIGHT HELP US ?VERY INTERESTING THE ANSWER WAS EXACTLY WHAT I ALREADY KNOW ,SO NOW I COULD TAKE A LITTLE LOOK AT YOUR STORIES LUISA , GOOD WRITING LIKED THIS ONE THANKS ..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LUISA thank you so much for your kind words and your consideration.. I’ve never met you and I probably never will, but I’ve really gotten to cherish your words and your thoughts and how you’ve reached out to me from the very beginning how you encouraged me.. yes I think there’s a little bit of animal in US because no matter how things feel or get to feel especially on the negative side there’s a part of us when we almost want to give up,, because we’re totally alone when our body starts to fail us even though we own our own homes and our own vehicle whether we drive it or not, there’s a part of us like the animals that say, I must eat I must sleep I must breathe I must take in water .. the intelligent Part of us says why who cares.. the animal in us comes in and says I just must, I’m forced to I live in this world I’ve been thrown in this world I exist here. the Sun comes out again the wind stops and we know ,,we just know our instincts like the animal tell us our stomach hurts and we say I have to eat something and then you look around and you say what ,,I don’t have anything I can’t get to the market .. how am I going to get what I and my fur children need to survive ..how would I ,,do it if it was for an animal??? I would do anything for one of these homeless animals they count on me SO I had to call on old favors I’ve done for FRIENDS ,NEIGHBORS, & acquaintances Its very enbarising But PEOPLE need to stop taking and start giving back to me . I GUESS MAYBE, I REALLY WILL BE ( CAT LADY ) 🤷‍♀️🐱 HA HA LUISA ZAMBROTTA THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. ALWAYS SINCERELY SHARON

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Shaton, you are right to start asking for something in exchange for what you have given with both hands. Unfortunately, the human being doesn’t always show gratitude, so if you manage to, plan to get what is most necessary for you and all your fur friends and keep it at home. For example, are there any shops that deliver goods at home? In this case you could stock up on what you need, which is not perishable. So, if some day nobody can help you, you will be self-sufficient. Alternatively, in Italy there are social services or other organizations that are activated in case a person cannot leave the house for errands. Remember that the cold season is starting and you need to take care of yourself. Have a nice Sunday, my dear friend😘 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LUISA, you talk to me like a sister like a best friend like a mom its wonderful and I understand your words.. yes I feel like a crumb when I have to ask people, my car is in the shop Windows broken Dents all over I didn’t cause it, and the person that did , I asked I said please reimburse me $200 because I have Collision for the glass but I don’t have anything for the scratches in the dents all over and he said no and I wanted to make my point and I said I’ll get it from your insurance company then I didn’t cause this . it went very bad .. I reached out to someone else , a neighbor around the corner that help me with my husband, it’s funny that when he was working with my husband to get to different places he didn’t like me even though they were using my car and my money and everything else.. he made his self known that he didn’t like me,, but within 1 hour of my husbands death he was trying to be my best friend and then at Christmas time when I wanted to give him a little envelope for him and his wife I put about $200 in cash, he hugged me he wouldn’t let me go and then I was scared he was a big strong man only about 40 but he just wouldn’t let me go.. I became panicky , I started watching my step around him .he would take my air conditioners out and I would pay him of course but he did something like that again I’m uncomfortable and I’m old enough to be his mother I found myself calling him many times over things that see on television or hear in the news or his opinion he would listen to me and we spoke nice many times but about my car I was asking him something and he just blew up at me the f—— words came flying out of his mouth he started screaming at me and I just thought God I can’t live in this world I wanted to die I mean I just can’t keep on going through this I am a self-made woman . Gene said , if you’re going to be my wife you have to take some uncredited courses and I did and we both worked for the same publishing company for 30 years but after I became a nurse in 2000 I was already 47 years old , that was after jury duty andfor 4 weeks I was four person in other words for men and so in 2005 while I was working for an Old Gentleman Harry and he taught me the stock market and Louisa you talk to me like a sister like a best friend like a mom this wonderful and I understand your words yes I feel like a chrome when I have to ask my car is in the shop when does broken dancehall over I didn’t cause it and the person I asked I said please reimburse me $200 because I have collision for the glass but I don’t have anything for the scratches and the dance all over and he said no and I wanted to make my point and I said I’ll get it from your insurance company then I didn’t cost this and it went very bad and I reached out to someone else neighbor round the corner that help me with my husband it’s funny that when he was working with my husband to get two different places he didn’t like me even though we wish you was in my car and my money and everything else he made his self know that he didn’t like me but within 1 hour of my husband’s death he was trying to be my best friend and then at Christmas time when I wanted to give him a little envelope for him and his wife I put over I put about $200 in cash a hug me he wouldn’t let me go and then it was scared you was a big strong man only about 40 but he would just wouldn’t let me go and like most panic key and I started watching my step he would take my air conditioners out and I would pay him of course but he did something like that again and I really don’t like that I’m uncomfortable and I’m old enough to be his mother I found myself calling him many times over things that see a television or here in the news or his opinion and he would listen to me and we spoke nice many times but about my car I was asking him something and he just blew up at me the F word skate flying out of his mouth he started screaming at me and I just thought God I don’t I can’t live in this world I want to die I mean I just can’t keep on going through this I am a self made woman with education mostly Jean said if you’re going to be my wife you have to take some on credited courses and I did and we both work for the same publishing company for 30 years but after I became a nurse and mm I was already 47 years old and that was after jury duty 4 weeks I was formal for person and so and 2005 while I was working for an oil gentleman Harry and he taught me the stock market and he like to watch the financial station of course he was in his 80 and you’d like me to watch it with him I was there to work. Without my knowledge Harry bought me 3,000 shares of Ford stock with Ford Motor Company and I could now watch the financial station with him and know what’s going on and it was fun watching that one stock grow to 9000 14000 and up and it was exciting and now I could put money in a checking account a savings account and I had a safe deposit box and I also carried $7,000 in cash on me at all times I finally felt powerful I had my own for the first time when I was working three jobs today I had to give all my money to my husband and I thought that was the right way cuz that’s what he told me and he would cash my checks or if it’s cash he would put it into checking account and pay the bills with and I guess pay himself I’ve learned and so hairy taught me to keep money hidden and I did that and then he made me buy another stock in another country company Boeing and that works very well at the time I watched it he made me put in over $4,000 and I didn’t like that because that hurt cost me $4,000 I wasn’t sure what was happening but it grew and in no time I was up to $20,000 and I felt like I owned the world for the first time they were very exciting times I came to take care of an elderly gentleman that was a bachelor in his own home he had seven things wrong with him I didn’t know where to start but with God’s help and all my prayers I learned how to take very very good care of him and the doctors were totally shocked on top of everything else we found out he had colon cancer to and what’s his age and his heart and being on oxygen 24 hours a day and diabetes COPD kidney disease stage 4 and cancer in various places it seems hopeless and he was also in the process of nearly losing both of his legs and it became an amazing trip and I ended up having to live there to watch over him 24 hours a day and I quit my other two jobs as activities director in a local assisted nursing home and also private patients and also my job with the publishing company I left everything and my apartment also and I live there is a terrible-looking place but there was nobody that could take care of Harry without my knowledge Harry bought me 3000 shares of Ford stock with Ford Motor Company and I could now watch the financial station with him and know what’s going on and it was fun watching that one stock grow to 9000 $14,000 and up and it was exciting and now I could put money in the checking account a savings account and I had a safe deposit box and I also carried $7,000 in cash on me I will times I finally felt powerful I had my own for the first time when I was working 3 jobs today I had to give all my money to my husband and I thought that was the right way cuz that’s what he told me and he would cash my checks or if it’s cash he would put it into checking account and pay the bills with and I guess pay himself I’ve learned and so Harry taught me to keep money hidden and I did that and then he made me by another stock and another cut company bowling and that works very well at the time I watched it he made me put in over $4,000 and I did like that because that hurt cost me $4,000 I wasn’t sure what was happening but a group and a note time I was up to $20,000 and I felt like I got the world for the first time they were very exciting time I came to take care of an elderly gentleman that was a bachelor and his own how he had seven things wrong with him I didn’t know where to start but was God’s help and all my prayers I learned how to take very very good care of him and the doctors were totally shocked on top of everything else we found out he had cold and cancer to and with his age and his heart and being on oxygen 24 hours a day and diabetes COPD kidney disease stage 4 & cancer in various places in same hopeless and you was also in the process of nearly losing both of his legs and it became an amazing trip and home I ended up having to live there to watch over him 24 hours a day and I quit my other two jobs as activities director and a local assisted nursing home and also private patience and also my job with the publishing company I left everything and my apartment also and I live there is a terrible looking place but there was nobody that could take care of Harry with the loving care that I did and the doctor gave him two

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What a long and complicated story! I have understood that you have always taken care of the people who come to you, and that your acquaintance with Harry has been fruitful.
        I am really sorry for your car problems, dearest Sharon 🤗💕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LUISA SORRY, THE MICROPHONE WENT HAYWIRE AGAIN . REPEATING WORDS &MAKING WORDS SPELLING COME OUT WRONG. I TRIED TO CORRECT BUT TABLET WOULDN’T ALLOW ME TO . SOOOO NOW I’M VERY EMBARRASSED BUT WHAT CAN I DO? ONE MORE obstacle WELL I TRIED TO FIXIT TO NO avail CANT shoot myself but many probably would like to shoot me right now well good night🙇‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

        Like

  5. il pensiero della Glàck non è il mio ma la sua poesia…è poesia. Qui l’ultima strofa…capolavoro. Trovo il fiore assai suggestivo…sensuale direi e non vo oltre 😀 ciaooo luisa ❤

    Like

  6. Response to “Mock Orange”: Agent?
    Do we mock horse and rider as is written, with our faith?
    There is still “Life goes on…… ” after a nuclear disaster, or oil spill………
    Endurance.
    I once saw a paintibg like that while i was working as a mover, moving someone to a different residence.
    It was a “cantelope” i say! Nothing other than canvas and paint.
    To quote chris rock: “there is no sex in the champaign room….. ”
    That seems to be part of what this author who won the noble prize was saying (writing). Did i miss the high pitch earrings? Not so “ha, ha” .

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s