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Tyrant of Words
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Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Louise Glück

Co-Hosts - Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze ( the wonderful artist who renders these classic portraits )  

Happy 2020!  Welcome back to the Classic Corner Competitions, Part XXIII, in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known classical and modern poets.  

Louise Glück is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, Faithful and Virtuous Night (2014), winner of the National Book Award, and Poems 1962-2012 (2012), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  She writes so effectively about disappointment, rejection, loss, and isolation, reviewers frequently refer to her poetry as “bleak” or “dark.” The Nation’s Don Bogen felt that Glück’s “basic concerns” were “betrayal, mortality, love and the sense of loss that accompanies it… She is at heart the poet of a fallen world.

In 2003 Glück was named the 12th U.S. Poet Laureate. That same year, she was named the judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, a position she held until 2010. Her book of essays Proofs and Theories (1994) was awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. In addition to the Pulitzer and Bollingen Prizes, she has received many awards and honors for her work, including the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, a Sara Teasdale Memorial Prize, the MIT Anniversary Medal, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2008, she was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award, and in 2015 she received the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Glück is currently writer-in-residence at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For more information regarding Glück, please visit the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/louise-gluck [/quote]


Write a new poem honoring Glück inspired by any one or more of her poems.

Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Glück. The more we feel you "capturing her essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.    

The Rules  

1.  Two entries per DUP persona.    

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ).    

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.    

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).    


5.  Webmiss has already created #LouiseGlück in the theme list.  The page will automatically generate as soon as eight entrants hashtag the theme.  Do NOT copy paste your poem to the competition, it must be linked to your page with the below information.

6. In your poem's notes, provide links to the poem by Glück that inspired yours. Without these, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by Glück or simply swapped fresh words into her existing poetry, which is a form of plagiarism.

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze. As in the past and in the event there is a tie, we will call in third ( and possibly fourth ) judge.

LASTLY**** ALL NON-ELIGIBLE ENTRIES WILL BE REMOVED. This is not a competition to deliberately ignore guidelines so as to advertise your work.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

Tyrant of Words
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Wintertide Metaphor

( after Louise Glück )
How was I to know        
dormancy could craft          
the art of contentment;          
that breaking beyond winter          
  to spring’s hustling charms          
would teach me of solitude⁠—          
  instill a crisp propensity          
  for suppression again        
Spring is cursory⁠—          
  a budding headdress only          
⁠for those that cannot observe          
  beyond outward beauty;          
who swallow, eventually        
summer’s flippancy;        
but, Earth is eternally employed⁠—        
a mother whose cord cannot be severed;          
  suckles you deeper within layers          
  of crusted shale to root forever;          
obscured bones of treasure⁠—        
  dust and ash reflecting yourself;        
the prodigal child          
  having survived the world        
  returning home after all          
Written by Ahavati
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Non-entry entry

Tyrant of Words
United States
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[ Classic Corner ] Springboards

o h m m m m m      
I hear it
I hear you      
talking on wings of the wind      
speaking to me as if I know your voice      
from the distant gossip of crows      
o h m m m      
and it resonates      
no, wait---      
v i b r a t e s      
with the familiarity of a        
h o m e         
that I don't recall      
ever stepping into      
regardless, feeling its floorboards           
creaking underneath my restless feet      
still with impatience to explore
a world of words, creek beds, and cornfields      
outside the door

Written by JohnnyBlaze
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non entry

jade tiger
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As Winter Ends

( after Louise Glück )
I recall in the year  
once I came into season,  
after the leaves all left,  
in the abandon of Fall,  
and the earth held its breath  
from the long chill I wore.  
I no longer felt alone,  
not on my own, to sort out    
the poetry of myself.  
To recognize you only  
as an atrium of airy clouds,  
not within, like a pulse.  
The life that began to  
resurface as I rolled my grief  
as thunder of lightning,  
a bursting from the ice,  
to announce you in the rain—  
a solitary song, an ache.
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Spring bulb # Louise Gluck

Waited with seminal pose
The dormant    
A hidden self  
locked in the cold  
I would welcome the warmth  
That resting prolapsed  
Did you bring the cold  
A permafrost masked  
To stunt awakens lay  
To hold and not release the bud  
The new growth from the corm  
Its green to unfold  
Insects in burrows like hermits  
A commitment to industry  
The spring brought its work ethics  
Earths nurcher and nature of raising  
Warming arms come to chase  
The first kiss    
The pout that god made  
Verdant feelings rising    
Its flower bud just formed  
A thin winter coat  
A cover for the festival  
From small and brown and underground  
The blossoming of hope
But question our longevity
The bridges burned in winters heat

(inspiration poem "Snowdrops")
Written by slipalong
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Tyrant of Words
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pale kisses (with respect to Louise Gluck)

in this season,  
  season of decay.
when all the leaves
have fallen,
     fallen all away.
cold blue death will
    come to pull life away.
love will be forever gone,
    gone with the pale kiss
of death to stay.
Written by buddhakitty
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Thought Provoker
United States
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( after Louise Glück )

At no time, while the spirit
moves through you, are you dead.
You cannot be fooled,
You are not proud of this fact.

And all things being equal,
no matter the wasteland
or inclement weather,
is all there is, nothing you can do.

Still, I can’t bleed for new chicks
that have no history, this latest
generation that thinks
I can’t spell, or buy a chair.

Mine look at me as if I’m a typo
from a dead language
that lies in a silted harbor
where Trojan warships once stood.

They mimic a blasé-insatiable age
while I could no longer care less—
anticipating the lack of
what everyone else anticipates.

Written by Heaven_sent_Kathy
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Twisted Dreamer
United States
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A Wilted Garden

visiting the darker places
no one lingers
not on purpose; not them nor I
tending the wilted flowers
on autumn's doorstep; yet a welcome breeze
learning the embrace,
the lull, the sting
not on purpose; if only one time
to hold a rose's thorn
awake, walking the softer sands
the homeward journey
awarding a quiet reprieve
behold another artist, like me
dripping color on the canvas  
brushing a yellow dawn
over distant, turbulent waters
painting death; yet a calming end
not on purpose
nor the darkest dream
Written by russell_snow
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Poem (Spring Emergence:  The Pear Tree)

Frailty in paper,
a thinness blooming:
She is seen in a mirror.

He sees her, the writer,
bleeding ink onto his pages,
decorating his drab days:
She holds a single rose in her
subtle emergence.

She must be born, he thought,
this way that only fate allows.
The tactile grief is necessary,
that she become seperate from him.

The blossoms fall first
dried under his sun,
yet they remain white:
Floating in tiny winglets,
they become the very air.

Her veins emerge within
his parchment window,
feeding her persistent growth
upon his slippery branch:
A leafing out of his inspiration,
he is writing her ending;

The fruition will fall and rot
in the late season.


Written by PoetsRevenge
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Joshua Bond
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Josh (Joshua Bond)
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You may “stop all the clocks”
as many times as you wish
and Death will not be impressed.
With Time on his side
Death sneers at the turning of gears,
laughs at swinging pendulums,
yawns bored at chains with weights
and the tick … tock … tick … tock …
is no more than white noise
promising eternal continuance
of Death’s 100% success rate.

She died before her time,
sieved by helplessness.
The rational mind gives poor answers to this mystery
and a truer bigger picture
lies forever in the bottom drawer of consciousness.
Still, undaunted by recalcitrant attitudes
she connects dots of humanity between the lines,
one to one, one to many -
her own mechanism of universal life.

A future glory though, merely holds a space.
Here on Earth it still rankles
and we consider her too-soon death
an impudence, an unjust event,
an abandonment by angels and
even a rank disgrace.


Ref: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49599/the-drowned-children

The words "Stop all the clocks" is the opening of W.H Auden's (1907-1973) famous 1938 poem "Funeral Blues",  (made more widely known by the 1994 film 'Four Weddings & a Funeral'). It is referenced as Nr.IX in "Twelve Songs", in part:II of his postumous 'Collected Poems' of 1976.

Thought Provoker
United States
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Nothing But Good

( after Louise Glück )

My parents at opposites,
and I in the middle.
Of the death nothing but good.
The plan as it’s shown
on the chart,
I can’t have it said of me,
unless it’s every bit
the painful truth,
on the edge of the maw,
a flower-eater.

I met halfway
as it was foolish sense.
And, looking in,
campaigned for mercy
and mother.
I grew into this old life filled
with blind dates, stretch lines.
The Lord is my Shepherd.
Of the death nothing but good.

Written by Heaven_sent_Kathy
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Afterthought (Inspired by Louise Glück)

The blank pages and canvas in front of me
Remain barren and empty. Why? Maybe
I no longer feel any of the inspiration and
blood flowing through my veins like they
once did before. Maybe my voice chose
to give out. All I can do is hope for the rose
to start blooming again and for a miracle
to take me back to the empty roads where
I felt most at home. Even the changes in
scenery did not ease my mind anymore.
All I can think about is the world that tears
apart at the seams. But no one seems to
care about the darkness or shadows that
creep in. They want to read about light
and happiness. Death happens every day
yet we choose to ignore it like the warning
signs for a pending storm. We ignore the
pain for a moment as the loss finally kicks
in and we scramble to find the pieces. The
pages and canvas start swaying side to side
like a car that stops following the paved road.
Is there an answer in the wind? Maybe hope
is on the horizon. Maybe all the answers lay
hidden in how I hold the pen or paintbrush.
The inspiration could come back as the chaos
and clutter finally depart like an airplane that
is ready for takeoff. We were once all children
who never had to worry about explaining our
failures or disappointments in both life and  
love to anyone. We never had to worry about
life’s afterthoughts. How I wish we can all be
explorers again as the foliage becomes vibrant.
As we grew older nothing made sense anymore
and nothing was as important as the closed door.
Written by eswaller
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Tyrant of Words
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Remembering what I said last night, now I reflect
I should have been a little more cautious with my words
But then again hindsight is always twenty-twenty
I blurted out the things that came to mind
And now I’m choosing on what to do next.
I don’t know why I said it
But my intuition was to be honest,
Now the poet in me is sad.
I slept on it but still
No answers came to me in dreams…
It’s like we go through this cycle,
Every once in a while we’ll argue,
Reconnect and become closer,
Until something else comes along.
I kept saying “I don’t know”
Because I don’t understand it,
But it’s a little frustrating to listen and hear
That my monotone deliveries
Are fake and unfeeling.
Fuck body language!
Listen to my words,
I’m slightly autistic  
I don’t care what the experts say
I’m opening up
But you’re stuck on the reflections
Or the façade of my crossed arms,
But my honesty tends to do that,
It’s kind of ugly when I speak it,
Unless I put it in verse…
I don’t want to do this shit at forty-five,
Giving up everything I have,
Sleeping in my car,
Just so I can provide,
And no I won’t ask for help,
That’s my fault for too much pride.
Maybe that’s what wrong, me.
Maybe I’m bi-polar
Maybe it’s the Gemini.
I don’t want to settle, or deal with
But you know me, I become numb,
I shut out the world and go live in a fantasy realm
Because that child me still dreams.
Maybe I’m not mature enough,
To deal with my karma and your insecurities  
To understand what you’re going through…
They say women mature faster than men
And if I’m only nine months ahead of you
Emotionally I’m two decades behind...
May I should catch up.
I don’t know, if feels like
Our perceptions are so different
But your self-doubt backs me into a corner
To a dark place I used to dwell
And I don’t know want to go there
Because that’s not who I am anymore.
Perhaps that’s the answer,
We’ve grown apart
And that for the sake of children
I shouldn’t be unhappy.
But you know me, I won’t speak it,
I’ll write it in verse
I’m a little slow that way,
But if I publish and post it my voice is sure to last.
Written by wallyroo92
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jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
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A Moment I Felt Would Never Come

It’s like once having known a
chronic alcoholic, which I never had,
at close quarters, which I also
never had. No more calculating
minutes, soft-boiled to hard.
Waiting till he finds the butter knife
is not with its dish, oh my God.
A ceramic coffee mug stained
with its last watermark, good Lord.

Like mix-match napkins set carefully there,
I stood in place on each black and white square
on the stage of our chess board
to which I’d record  
all of the years I thought I could fix,  
and spent waiting for our Apocalypse.    
An echo resounding, taken aback,    
off a rook and a knight carved and shellac’d.    
It was then at the time, matter and mind.    
both plotting revenge, if only for some,    
for a moment I felt would never come.          
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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The Myth Of Innocence (Ballad Of Persephone)

'The girl who disappears from the pool
 will never return. A woman will return
 looking for the girl she was.'
                   -Louse Gluck

She is too loved, one might say,
to know darkness;
too much a mother, a child, her fields
too fertile to know Winter.

But, she can't know Winter
when she is removed of it--
Death is another Summer.

So, she courts him, that death
unknowing what he really is
by living so fully her heart could burst.

This is where the harvesting of her begins:
She runs toward it's power, arms open
to receive it.

The fields are neutral, she believes,
alive in all she feels despite the
earthen pull of their rooted grains--

All food is good food, she thinks;
my mother bore me in this way:
I am her food.

So she sings a siren's song:
I am love, I belong to it;
then from the ground he emerges,
parting the grass.

His voice fills the air, beckoning her,
replacing the hollow sound of
her heart in her ears
whistling like the wind--

She, at once knows her
mother's love for her, the
resignation of it;

loving the magic of something,
not what it consists of,
and knowing magic fades.

She bids goodbye to constant
with it's endless sun for a god
whom is devoid of sunlight.

Winter becomes another Summer
but with a different sun
in a similar sky.
The old sun is forgotten
as if it were archaic and lacking
in radiance any longer--

Darkness becomes her new sun
in the absence of a real one.

In time, she will run back
to the old sun and the fields,
praying to remember it's bounty:

She will not be aware of her own
great absence from it.
But, in seeing how it has changed,
her prayer will be answered.


Written by PoetsRevenge
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