by Louise Glück
Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
Sleep in their blue yoke,
The fields having been
Picked clean, the sheaves
Bound evenly and piled at the roadside
Among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:
This is the barrenness
Of harvest or pestilence
And the wife leaning out the window
With her hand extended, as in payment,
And the seeds
Distinct, gold, calling
Come here, little one
And the soul creeps out of the tree.
One fall, while teaching at a girl's high school in Taipei, I decided to have students memorize and recite this poem. Two years later when I returned to teach another term, some of the students ran up to recite it in its entirety. Glück's words seem to just fall into place.