詩歌分析:Eros by Louise Glück

Eros by Louise Glück

I had drawn my chair to the hotel window, to watch the rain.

I was in a kind of dream, or trance —
in love, and yet
I wanted nothing.

It seemed unnecessary to touch you, to see you again.
I wanted only this:
the room, the chair, the sound of the rain falling,
hour after hour, in the warmth of the spring night.

I needed nothing more; I was utterly sated.
My heart had become very small; it took very little to fill it.
I watched the rain falling in heavy sheets over the darkened city —

You were not concerned. I did the things
one does in daylight, I acquitted myself,
but I moved like a sleepwalker.

It was enough and it no longer involved you.
A few days in a strange city.
A conversation, the touch of a hand.
And afterward, I took off my wedding ring.

That was what I wanted: to be naked.



詩歌分析:Anniversary by Louise Glück (April 1966)

Anniversary by Louise Glück (April 1966)

Well, November’s hit Paris again.

The Times records a mean temperature

Of thirty-eight. Bunched about the Madeleine,

Flower sellers ostrich the future

With their noses rigorously immersed

In stale roses. Or so I remember.

Incredibly, it was the twenty-first

Last week. And my affections turned out limber

After all: oh Stephen, we’d have been

Married now. I’ve still got our

China, some broken, and some linen

But the first I’ve really thought of you for

Months was just tonight when with my fork

Suspended I was saying how I loved New York.





2020諾貝爾文學獎得主Louise Glück的文字簡潔,意象新穎,用字精準,這是一首很美的詩歌。

Museum Piece by Richard Wilbur

The good gray guardians of art
Patrol the halls on spongy shoes,
Impartially protective, though
Perhaps suspicious of Toulouse.

Here dozes one against the wall,
Disposed upon a funeral chair.
A Degas dancer pirouettes
Upon the parting of his hair.

See how she spins! The grace is there,
But strain as well is plain to see.
Degas loved the two together:
Beauty joined to energy.

Edgar Degas purchased once
A fine El Greco, which he kept
Against the wall beside his bed
To hang his pants on while he slept.

In the art world, different people (even those who claim they are artists) treat art with different attitude. Guardian is suspicious of Toulouse; another dozes upon Degas dancer; Degas despises El Greco. They have different perspectives and interpretations about art and adopt different attitude towards it (i.e. See how Degas hangs his pants on El Greco!)

Being Boring by Wendy Cope

If you ask me ‘What’s new?’, I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it’s better today.
I’m content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion – I’ve used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last.
If nothing much happens, I’m thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you’re after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don’t go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don’t need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I’ve found a safe mooring,
I’ve just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

The line “There was drama enough in my turbulent past” is so true. After tears and passion in pursuit of a “normal” life, I would rather be a boring cabbage living an ordinary and quiet life under a safe roof. Excitement would carry me a little too far from what I want. I am content that we are still living, eating, sleeping, working and making love in our small little world.

Friends Again by Sophie Hannah

Let’s sort this out. Make no more sherry
scones for the man that stole my jewels
and I’ll stop spitting in your sherry.
Both of us have been fools.

Here, you can have my rope and pins
if you give up your hooks and nails
and we’ll agree to wear wide grins
for subsequent betrayals.

Even a bond as firm as this
friendship cannot withstand attacks
if they are too direct; let’s hiss
behind each other’s backs.

In future, when I tread thick oil
into your house, I’ll hide my feet,
and if you have to be disloyal
please try to be discreet.

I think this poem is about disloyalty and betrayal, in terms of sexual relations, between lovers. The lovers are angry about each other’s betrayal behind each other’s back and are ready to enter a fight. The poet said next time if it happens again, she would love their behaviour to be more polite and less harmful towards each other.

Imaginary Conversation by Linda Pastan

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.

But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?

You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
living surface.

The poet should be a housewife having a hectic schedule and being occupied with household chores. Her husband urges her not to waste time and put off work as if it were her last day. But the poet desires to live as if it were her first when she could be like an innocent girl seeing the world in all astonishment and in new perspective. While her husband is grinding the coffee and making annoying noises, the poet looks out the window through which she desires a new life.

Autobiographia Literaria by Frank O’Hara

When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard
all alone.

I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds
flew away.

If anyone was looking
for me I hid behind a
tree and cried out “I am
an orphan.”

And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!

This simple poem is about Frank O’hara who spends his childhood in sadness and loneliness until he comes across poetry in which he finds beauty.

Dream of Heaven by Chard deNiord

I’d smoke cigars all day and into the night
while I wrote and wrote without
any hope or slightest assurance
that anything I’d written actually mattered
or rose to a standard of literary merit.
I’d languish in the smoke that did me in
and call it the cloud of my unknowing,
so sweet in its taste, such as it was,
of Cuban soil. That would be paradise
in heaven that’s so overrated as endless
bliss it kills to imagine as a place for living
forever, no less, with nothing to do
or lips to kiss. I’d curse, therefore,
with the best of them—the legion
of Saved—as I sharpened my pencils
and smoked my Punches in the simple room
that I’d be given with a desk for writing
and bed for remembering the things
I’d forgotten. And reading too, I almost
forgot. I’d read and read since I’d be done
with sleeping, but dreaming, no, still dreaming
a lot. I’d live to live again with moments
of dying to see how “lucky” I was. I’d use
my body as an eidolon with invisible wings
that fluttered in the void as if it were air
and hummed in the dark in which I could see.


How to deal with the Press by Wendy Cope

She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.
Be careful, courteous, and cool.
Never trust a journalist.

‘We’re off the record,’ she’ll insist.
If you believe her, you’re a fool.
She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.

Should you tell her who you’ve kissed,
You’ll see it all in print, and you’ll
Never trust a journalist

Again. The words are hers to twist,
And yours the risk of ridicule.
She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.

‘But X is nice,’ the publicist
Will tell you. ‘We were friends at school.’
Never trust a journalist

Hostile, friendly, sober, pissed,
Male or female – that’s the rule.
When tempted to confide, resist.
Never trust a journalist.

This poem makes use of repetition to stress its point — Never trust a journalist. If you confide, your words are twisted and you become the ridicule to the public. That is the dark side of journalism.

Always marry an April Girl by Ogden Nash

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true —
I love April, I love you.

Use this poem today to cheer myself up a little bit. April is a charming girl with character which is like casting a spell on the poet who compares her to the month April. April is capricious, ever changing like the weather, and is always true and honest. The poet loves her nonetheless. Being an April girl, I understand the capricious nature which very often offends people who can’t accept this kind of ever changing character. So April girl can be charming as well as offensive. Beware!