Vita Nova By Louise Glück

You saved me, you should remember me.

The spring of the year; young men buying tickets for the ferryboats.
Laughter, because the air is full of apple blossoms.

When I woke up, I realized I was capable of the same feeling.

I remember sounds like that from my childhood,   
laughter for no cause, simply because the world is beautiful,
something like that.

Lugano. Tables under the apple trees.
Deckhands raising and lowering the colored flags.
And by the lake’s edge, a young man throws his hat into the water;
perhaps his sweetheart has accepted him.

Crucial
sounds or gestures like
a track laid down before the larger themes

and then unused, buried.

Islands in the distance. My mother   
holding out a plate of little cakes—

as far as I remember, changed
in no detail, the moment
vivid, intact, having never been
exposed to light, so that I woke elated, at my age   
hungry for life, utterly confident—

By the tables, patches of new grass, the pale green   
pieced into the dark existing ground.

Surely spring has been returned to me, this time   
not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet   
it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.
Louise Glück, “Vita Nova” from Vita Nova. Copyright © 2001 by Louise Glück. Reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Source: Vita Nova (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1999)

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