“a flower sprang, lilylike, more brilliant / than the purples of Tyre”: Louise Glück’s “Hyacinth”

photo (35)I wish I’d been able to celebrate National Poetry Month with more fanfare, Dear Readers—next year, I hope, will be different—but I hope you’ve had the chance to read a poem or two more than usual. In fact, I’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading, so please let me know in the comments which poems you’ve liked recently (slow to respond though I am, always begging your pardon).

This past weekend friends visited us for dinner and conversation, and brought with them beautiful stems of hyacinth from their garden. The whole apartment smells like spring. It happens to be one of my very favorite flowers, so here is a poem by one of my very favorite poets, Louise Glück, to go with it, though I think you’ll see that her poem is much more somber than the flower.

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One thought on ““a flower sprang, lilylike, more brilliant / than the purples of Tyre”: Louise Glück’s “Hyacinth”

  1. “You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    “They called me the hyacinth girl.”
    —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
    Oed’ und leer das Meer.–T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

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