The Wild Iris

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.

by Louise Gluck

Comments (11)

Very nice poem. Enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing.
Frankly speaking, I did not understand the poem fully until I read some of the enlightening comments, particularly those of Lantz Pierre and Robert Murray Smith. Thanks to both.
Nice write here... I enjoyed reading it
Powerful poem! Theodore Roethke is one of my favorites. I especially love The Waking...
The poet leads us on a journey out of self. This means in our self-actualisation there are interiorities we recognise and those we cannot. The mind has no hope of pinpointing self for it is a moveable feast resting on the physical nature of the brain/ mind. The poet leads us through many metaphorical settings that seems to recognise this.
See More