September Twilight

Louise Glück

I gathered you together,
I can dispense with you—

I’m tired of you, chaos
of the living world—
I can only extend myself
for so long to a living thing.

I summoned you into existence
by opening my mouth, by lifting
my little finger, shimmering

blues of the wild
aster, blossom
of the lily, immense,
gold-veined—

you come and go; eventually
I forget your names.

You come and go, every one of you
flawed in some way,
in some way compromised: you are worth
one life, no more than that.

I gathered you together;
I can erase you
as though you were a draft to be thrown away,
an exercise

because I’ve finished you, vision
of deepest mourning.


Louise Glück is a poet and essayist. She is the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence at Yale and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020.
Originally published:
April 1, 1992

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