Louise Gluck




The Seven Ages

In my first dream the world appeared
the salt, the bitter, the forbidden, the sweet
In my second I descended

I was human, I couldn’t just see a thing
beast that I am

I had to touch it, to contain it

I hid in the groves,
I worked in the fields until the fields were bare—

time
that will never come again—
the dry wheat bound, caskets
of figs and olives

I even loved a few times in my disgusting human way

and like everyone I called that accomplishment
erotic freedom,
absurd as it seems

The wheat gathered and stored, the last
fruit dried: time

that is hoarded, that is never used
does it also end?

In my first dream the world appeared
the sweet, the forbidden
but there was no garden, only 
raw elements

I was human:
I had to beg to descend

the salt, the bitter, the demanding, the preemptive

And like everyone, I took, I was taken
I dreamed

I was betrayed:

Earth was given to me in a dream
In a dream I possessed it