Thursday, November 10, 2005

Week 7 Post 2

Harvest
By: Louise Gluck

It grieves me to think of you in the past-

Look at you, blindly clinging to earth
as though it were the vineyards of heaven
while the fields go up in flames around you-

Ah, little ones, how unsubtle you are:
it is at once the gift of the torment.

If what you fear in death
is punishment beyond this, you need not
fear death:

how many times must I destroy my own creation
to teach you
this is your punishment:

with one gesture I establish you
in time and in paradise.

Many of the poems by this author seem condesending to her subjects. She establishes a sense of higher authority for the speaker and she sets up the stage for the authoritative author to comment about her underlings. In this poem the speaker is talking to lower level. The plants that she describes clinging to the earth can symbolize other living things and how they only know that the earth is their haven. The speaker states that how she does not want to think about the little ones in the past, and about how they clung onto earth with their lives. The speaker's tone is almost godly. that the speaker is a god looking down on earth taking care of her underlings, her creations. And she speaks to them about their fear of death. The little ones cling to earth with their lives and fear death, of leaving their paradise, but the speaker says that they have nothing to be afraid of. She tells them that their punishment is what she wants it to be. She put them where they are and she can take them from that place just as easily. The way the author uses plants to describe deeper themes is amazingly interesting. Something I would have never thought of even correlating together.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sevanna Isanians said...

I am also reading this book of poems for the assignment. I love the way the author uses such peaceful, soft images like flowers and gardens to describe the harsh reality of death. I agree with you on the aspect that the poem has an authoritative voice, i am assuming God, taking to us about his children, mankind.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Michael Overton said...

This poem was very harsh and i almost felt like the speaker was playing God in the poem. It has a very condescending tone and I got an image of a painter painting a pictur where he can make the characters dance to his will. It was interesting to read though.

8:36 PM  

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