Louise Gluck Wins the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature

As the American poet wins the Nobel Prize, we share one of her most known poems with our readers.

Louise Gluck

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 outer world

I tell you I could speak again: whatever 

returns from oblivion returns 

to find a voice: 

from the centre of my life came,

 a great fountain, deep blue

shadows on azure seawater. 

– Louise Gluck

(Collected from the poet’s The Wild Iris)


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