Monday, October 24, 2005

The Drowned Children by: Louise Gluck

You see, they have no judgment.
So it is natural 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 talks about death, to be more particular, the death of children by drowning. The author ststes in the first line of this poem that "they" have no judgement. This refers to the fact that in catholisism the age of sin is seven and older (I think). Stating this in the first line allows the speaker to show his side of the story. The author is trying to give a good reason as to why these children had to die, and why they had to die by drowning. It's because they had no judgement by God, that they had to die by drowning. its because they were helpless that they had to die in a helpless way. All thoroughout the poem the author keep trying to explian this tragedy. Its as if he is shocked by the whole experience and doesnt konw what to think any more. The only thing you can do when something disatrous happens is think of possible explenations. Along with that, the author uses imagery to vividly describe the scene the children were in. He ststes words such as "ice taking them in..." and "wool scarves floating behind them as they sink...". These depictions give a great sense of sorrow to the reader. The scene is set up and one can almost feel the sharp chill of the cold those children felt run down the spine. Without really creating a "mushy" kind of poem that talks about crying and feeling sorry for those poor children tha author has created a very gloomy and real event that captivates readers. One can see the pain the author goes through without the author really stating how sad he is. Its a wonderfull peace that really puts death into perspective. It will happen to us all, it is the inevitable outcome of your life. And most important to remember is it can happen to anyone at any time. Death shows no prefrence and kids are up for grabs as well. Its a hard concept to realize but thats life.


Blogger Julie Mong said...

What a sad poem! I see where you say that they are helpless and so it was meant to be that they died in such a helpless way. A dreary poem talking about death of children. the whole tone of the poem seems very gloomy and dark. It describes a scene of death so vividly and as if passing judgement on those kids.

4:18 PM  

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