among all your kind


No one’s despair is like my despair-

You have no place in this garden
thinking such things, producing
the tiresome outward signs; the man
pointedly weeding an entire forest,
the woman limping, refusing to change clothes
or wash her hair.

Do you suppose I care
if you speak to one another?
But I mean you to know
I expected better of two creatures
who were given minds: if not
that you would actually care for each other
at least that you would understand
grief is distributed
between you, among all your kind, for me
to know you, as deep blue
marks the wild scilla, white
the wood violet.

– Louise Glück, “April,” The Wild Iris (1992)

I was alive, ten years old, when this book was published. I did not know it at the time, but it is nice to think that the book’s publication might have made some impact on the world I was living in, and thus also on me, even at ten. I bought it in undergrad at my professor’s recommendation. It has taken me a long time to read it carefully, although I read it as I have read most books of poetry before now – skimming, diving for a fish, getting out – but I am glad I have it now. It sees so distinctly.