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A Summer Garden - Poem by Louise Gluck

Several weeks ago I discovered a photograph of my mother
sitting in the sun, her face flushed as with achievement or triumph.
The sun was shining. The dogs
were sleeping at her feet where time was also sleeping,
calm and unmoving as in all photographs.

I wiped the dust from my mother's face.
Indeed, dust covered everything; it seemed to me the persistent
haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood.
In the background, an assortment of park furniture, trees and shrubbery.

The sun moved lower in the sky, the shadows lengthened and darkened.
The more dust I removed, the more these shadows grew.
Summer arrived. The children
leaned over the rose border, their shadows
merging with the shadows of the roses.

A word came into my head, referring
to this shifting and changing, these erasures
that were now obvious—

it appeared, and as quickly vanished.
Was it blindness or darkness, peril, confusion?

Summer arrived, then autumn. The leaves turning,
the children bright spots in a mash of bronze and sienna.


2

When I had recovered somewhat from these events,
I replaced the photograph as I had found it
between the pages of an ancient paperback,
many parts of which had been
annotated in the margins, sometimes in words but more often
in spirited questions and exclamations
meaning "I agree" or "I'm unsure, puzzled—"

The ink was faded. Here and there I couldn't tell
what thoughts occurred to the reader
but through the bruise-like blotches I could sense
urgency, as though tears had fallen.

I held the book awhile.
It was Death in Venice (in translation):
I had noted the page in case, as Freud believed,
nothing is an accident.

Thus the little photograph
was buried again, as the past is buried in the future.
In the margin there were two words,
linked by an arrow: "sterility" and, down the page, "oblivion"—

"And it seemed to him the pale and lovely
summoner out there smiled at him and beckoned..."


3

How quiet the garden is;
no breeze ruffles the Cornelian cherry.
Summer has come.

How quiet it is
now that life has triumphed. The rough

pillars of the sycamores
support the immobile
shelves of the foliage,

the lawn beneath
lush, iridescent—

And in the middle of the sky,
the immodest god.

Things are, he says. They are, they do not change;
response does not change.

How hushed it is, the stage
as well as the audience; it seems
breathing is an intrusion.

He must be very close,
the grass is shadowless.

How quiet it is, how silent,
like an afternoon in Pompeii.


4

Beatrice took the children to the park in Cedarhurst.
The sun was shining. Airplanes
passed back and forth overhead, peaceful because the war was over.

It was the world of her imagination:
true and false were of no importance.

Freshly polished and glittering—
that was the world. Dust
had not yet erupted on the surface of things.

The planes passed back and forth, bound
for Rome and Paris—you couldn't get there
unless you flew over the park. Everything
must pass through, nothing can stop—

The children held hands, leaning
to smell the roses.
They were five and seven.

Infinite, infinite—that
was her perception of time.

She sat on a bench, somewhat hidden by oak trees.
Far away, fear approached and departed;
from the train station came the sound it made.

The sky was pink and orange, older because the day was over.

There was no wind. The summer day
cast oak-shaped shadows on the green grass.
Louise Gluck
Topic(s) of this poem: summer

Latest Urdu Poetry

مردوکوزندہ جانتا ھے آزری نظام
وھاں کے بتکدے اور خانقاہ

Badan Ke Karb Ko Wo Bhi Samajh Na Paye Ga

Main Dil Mein Ro’on Gi Aankhon Mein Muskraon Gi

Ek bhegi hui si raat mile
us raat me tera hath mile

tere lab se tapken jo bonden
unhe mere labo

Humaray baad nahin ay ga tumhain chahat ka asa maza ?Faraz?!
Tum logon se kehtay phiroo gay mujhe c

Koi mousam bhi hum ko raas nahin
woh nahin hay tou kuch bhi paas nahin

aik muddat say dil k paas

Teri Yaadoon Ko BhooL Jany Tak,,,

Maaaar DaaLy Ga Tera Yaaad Aana...

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the ca

THUS they, with freaks of proud delight,
Beguile the remnant of the night;
And many a snatch of jo

Ishq Hai K Izraeel Ye
Jan Lene Se Thakta Hi Nahi...

Sitaron Se Aage Jahan Aur Bhi Hain
Abhi Ishq Ke Imtehan Aur Bhi Hain

Tahi Zindagi Se Nahi Ye Fez

Yad aon to bas itni si inayat karna,
Apnay badlay howay lahjay ki wazahat karna,

Tum to chahat k

Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:

ki hai koi hasin KHata har KHata ke sath
thoDa sa pyar bhi mujhe de do saza ke sath
gar Dubna hi

Us bewafa se hath milane k waste,
Mehfil me sab se hath milana para muje,

Teri anjman k sab ch

Un dostoan se milna yaaroan sambhal-sambhal ke
Jeete hain zindagi jo Chehre Badal-badal ke.

Mat

Husan Walay Jab Torty Hain Dil Kisi Ka..!!
Bari Saadgi Say Kehtay Hain Majbor Hain Hum..!!

Dil pe karte hain dimagon pe asar karte hain
ham ajab log hain zehnon main safar karte hain
jab sa

Har bat keh dene ki nahi
hoti Kuch sunne ki bhi hoti
hain Kuch samajhne ki Kuch
jazb karlene ki

Aaj socha to aansuu bhar aaye,
Mudaten ho gayin muskuraaye,
Har qadam pr udhar murr ke dekha,
Un

Kese Bhoool gaya wo guzre huwe din
Lagta nahi tha us ka dil mere bin

Dosto se kaha karta tha wo

Urdu Poetry

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