Monday, June 21, 2010

Cottonmouth Country, Louise Gluck

Hello Poets,
As yet no poems lament the death and destruction on-going in the Gulf. No poems illuminate the oily mysteries of life and death in deep water. Now isn't NYC post 9-11 when poems where taped to lamp posts.
This poem, from Louise Gluck's first book of poetry, may point the way.

Cottonmouth Country

Fish bones walked the waves off Hatteras.
And there were other signs
That Death wooed us, by water, wooed us
By land: among the pines
An uncurled cottonmouth that rolled on moss
Reared in the polluted air.
Birth, not death, is the hard loss.
I know. I also left a skin there.

by Louise Gluck, from The First Four Books of Poems, 1995

1 comment:

  1. I first read 'Cottonmouth Country' by Louis Gluck in the late 1960s, and it left an impression on me.

    Someone said it was about a miscarriage.