Louise Gluck




Lute Song

No one wants to be the muse;
in the end, everyone wants to be Orpheus.

Valiantly reconstructed
(out of terror and pain)
and then overwhelmingly beautiful;

restoring, ultimately,
not Eurydice, the lamented one, 
but the ardent
spirit of Orpheus, made present

not as a human being, rather
as pure soul rendered
detached, immortal, 
through deflected narcissism.

I made a harp of disaster
to perpetuate the beauty of my last love. 
Yet my anguish, such as it is,
remains the struggle for form

and my dreams, if I speak openly, 
less the wish to be remembered
than the wish to survive, 
which is, I believe, the deepest human wish.