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Little Willow [userpic]

Poetry Friday: A Fable by Louise Glück

December 7th, 2018 (06:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: My Mistake by Gabrielle Aplin

Two women with
the same claim
came to the feet of
the wise king. Two women,
but only one baby.
The king knew
someone was lying.
What he said was
Let the child be
cut in half; that way
no one will go
empty-handed. He
drew his sword.
Then, of the two
women, one
renounced her share:
this was
the sign, the lesson.
Suppose
you saw your mother
torn between two daughters:
what could you do
to save her but be
willing to destroy
yourself - she would know
who was the rightful child,
the one who couldn't bear
to divide the mother.

- A Fable by Louise Glück

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Comments

Posted by: Linda Baie (Linda Baie)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:39 am (UTC)

It's interesting to reverse the scenario and emphasize the child's love this time. What a strong voice, a flinging back in a kind of argument. Thanks

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:51 am (UTC)

Role reversal is quite interesting.

Posted by: Liz Steinglass (Liz Steinglass)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:04 pm (UTC)
poem

Wow. That has quite a punch. The line breaks are really interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: poem

I like the unexpected switch, and the simplicity.

Posted by: Laura Shovan (Laura Shovan)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:30 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday

Powerful poem. It makes me wonder about the backstory. Who were the two sister Gluck had in mind as she wrote the poem?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 7th, 2018 04:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Poetry Friday

I wonder!

Posted by: Heidi Mordhorst (Heidi Mordhorst)
Posted at: December 8th, 2018 12:16 pm (UTC)

I'm struck by how much Louise Gluck does with a longish story AND its reverse in so little space. Fabulous, literally.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 8th, 2018 05:15 pm (UTC)

I second that!

Posted by: mlyearofreading (mlyearofreading)
Posted at: December 8th, 2018 02:25 pm (UTC)

Why does it have to be deceit that inspires honor?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 8th, 2018 05:15 pm (UTC)

Great question.

Posted by: Michelle Kogan (Michelle Kogan)
Posted at: December 9th, 2018 05:48 am (UTC)

Powerful poem with hardly any areas of gray to reconsider the situation–we seem to have a parallel of this happening today in our politics.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 9th, 2018 06:23 am (UTC)
books

The importance of truth, and of our actions.

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