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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Louise Glück - 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
though by then everything was happening more slowly—
boutiques, restaurants, a little wine shop with a striped awning,
once a cat was sleeping in the doorway;
it was cool there, in the shadows, and I thought
I would like to sleep like that again, to have in my mind
not one thought. And later we would eat polpo and saganaki,
the waiter cutting leaves of oregano into a saucer of oil—
What was it, six o’clock? So when we left it was still light
and everything could be seen for what it was,
and then you got in the car—
where did you go next, after those days,
where although you could not speak you were not lost?

Louise Glück - Anniversary

I said you could snuggle. That doesn’t mean

your cold feet all over my dick.


Someone should teach you how to act in bed.

What I think is you should

keep your extremities to yourself.


Look what you did—

you made the cat move.


            But I didn’t want your hand there.

            I wanted your hand here.


            You should pay attention to my feet.

            You should picture them

            the next time you see a hot fifteen year old.

            Because there’s a lot more where those feet come from.

Louise Glück - October



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 I was 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?



Summer after summer has ended,
balm after violence:
it does me no good
to be good to me now;
violence has changed me.


Daybreak. The low hills shine
ochre and fire, even the fields shine.
I know what I see; sun that could be
the August sun, returning
everything that was taken away —


You hear this voice? This is my mind’s voice;
you can’t touch my body now.
It has changed once, it has hardened,
don’t ask it to respond again.


A day like a day in summer.
Exceptionally still. The long shadows of the maples
nearly mauve on the gravel paths.
And in the evening, warmth. Night like a night in summer.


It does me no good; violence has changed me.
My body has grown cold like the stripped fields;
now there is only my mind, cautious and wary,
with the sense it is being tested.


Once more, the sun rises as it rose in summer;
bounty, balm after violence.
Balm after the leaves have changed, after the fields
have been harvested and turned.


Tell me this is the future,
I won’t believe you.
Tell me I’m living,
I won’t believe you.



Snow had fallen. I remember
music from an open window.


Come to me, said the world.
This is not to say
it spoke in exact sentences
but that I perceived beauty in this manner.


Sunrise. A film of moisture
on each living thing. Pools of cold light
formed in the gutters.


I stood
at the doorway,
ridiculous as it now seems.


What others found in art,
I found in nature. What others found
in human love, I found in nature.
Very simple. But there was no voice there.


Winter was over. In the thawed dirt,
bits of green were showing.


Come to me, said the world. I was standing
in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal —
I can finally say
long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty
the healer, the teacher —


death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.



The light has changed;
middle C is tuned darker now.
And the songs of morning sound over-rehearsed. —


This is the light of autumn, not the light of spring.
The light of autumn: you will not be spared.


The songs have changed; the unspeakable
has entered them.


This is the light of autumn, not the light that says
I am reborn.


Not the spring dawn: I strained, I suffered, I was delivered.
This is the present, an allegory of waste.


So much has changed. And still, you are fortunate:
the ideal burns in you like a fever.
Or not like a fever, like a second heart.


The songs have changed, but really they are still quite beautiful.
They have been concentrated in a smaller space, the space of the mind.
They are dark, now, with desolation and anguish.


And yet the notes recur. They hover oddly
in anticipation of silence.
The ear gets used to them.
The eye gets used to disappearances.


You will not be spared, nor will what you love be spared.


A wind has come and gone, taking apart the mind;
it has left in its wake a strange lucidity.


How priviledged you are, to be passionately
clinging to what you love;
the forfeit of hope has not destroyed you.


Maestro, doloroso:


This is the light of autumn; it has turned on us.
Surely it is a privilege to approach the end
still believing in something.



It is true that there is not enough beauty in the world.
It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.


I am
at work, though I am silent.


The bland


misery of the world
bounds us on either side, an alley


lined with trees; we are


companions here, not speaking,
each with his own thoughts;


behind the trees, iron
gates of the private houses,
the shuttered rooms


somehow deserted, abandoned,


as though it were the artist’s
duty to create
hope, but out of what? what?


the word itself
false, a device to refute
perception — At the intersection,


ornamental lights of the season.


I was young here. Riding
the subway with my small book
as though to defend myself against


the same world:


you are not alone,
the poem said,
in the dark tunnel.



The brightness of the day becomes
the brightness of the night;
the fire becomes the mirror.


My friend the earth is bitter; I think
sunlight has failed her.
Bitter or weary, it is hard to say.


Between herself and the sun,
something has ended.
She wants, now, to be left alone;
I think we must give up
turning to her for affirmation.


Above the fields,
above the roofs of the village houses,
the brilliance that made all life possible
becomes the cold stars.


Lie still and watch:
they give nothing but ask nothing.


From within the earth’s
bitter disgrace, coldness and barrenness


my friend the moon rises:
she is beautiful tonight, but when is she not beautiful?

Louise Glück - Nocturne

Mother died last night,

Mother who never dies.


Winter was in the air,

many months away

but in the air nevertheless.


It was the tenth of May.

Hyacinth and apple blossom

bloomed in the back garden.


We could hear

Maria singing songs from Czechoslovakia —


How alone I am 

songs of that kind.


How alone I am,

no mother, no father —

my brain seems so empty without them.


Aromas drifted out of the earth;

the dishes were in the sink,

rinsed but not stacked.


Under the full moon

Maria was folding the washing;

the stiff  sheets became

dry white rectangles of  moonlight.


How alone I am, but in music

my desolation is my rejoicing.


It was the tenth of May

as it had been the ninth, the eighth.


Mother slept in her bed,

her arms outstretched, her head

balanced between them.

Louise Glück - A Myth Of Devotion

When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.


Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness


Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting.


A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn’t everyone want love?


He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.


Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns—


That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there’d be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.


Guilt? Terror? The fear of love?
These things he couldn’t imagine;
no lover ever imagines them.


He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
Persephone’s Girlhood.


A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you


but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end
you’re dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true.

Louise Glück - The Night Migrations

This is the moment when you see again
the red berries of the mountain ash
and in the dark sky

the birds' night migrations.

It grieves me to think
the dead won't see them--
these things we depend on,
they disappear.

What will the soul do for solace then?
I tell myself maybe it won't need
these pleasures anymore;
maybe just not being is simply enough,
hard as that is to imagine.