Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Drowned Children by Louise Gluck

The Drowned Children
By: Louise Gluck

You see, they have no judgment.
So it is natural that they should drown,
first the ice taking them in
and then, all winter, their wool scarves
floating behind them as they sink
until at last they are quiet.
And the pond lifts them in its manifold dark arms.

But death must come to them differently,
so close to the beginning.
As though they had always been
blind and weightless. Therefore the rest is dreamed, the lamp,
the good white cloth that covered the table,
their bodies.

And yet they hear the names they used
like lures slipping over the pond:
What are you waiting for
come home, come home, lost
in the waters, blue and permanent.

This poem although truly very sad is also filled with great emotion, great description. The poem is almost a short story about the loss of a child, a loss of a loved one. The little child in this story drowns in the lake, step by step. The poet gives him the vivid insight into the death of a child. The end of the poem, "what are you waiting for, come home, come home, lost in the water, blue and permanent" captures the death but also revival of the child's memory by the calling at the end. This poem is written from an outsider standing on the sidelines as this is going on, as in the bystander is watching the child drown without intervening. It makes it almost too calm, to serene in this poem almost too indifferent.


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