Poem of the Week: Mock Orange by Louise Glück

As much as I love LOVE, I realize that all of the poems I’ve featured so far are love poems. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought we could look at some poems of love gone wrong.

Mock Orange

It is not the moon, I tell you.
It is these flowers
lighting the yard.

I hate them.

I hate them as I hate sex,
the man’s mouth
sealing my mouth, the man’s
paralyzing body—

and the cry that always escapes,

the low, humiliating
premise of union—
In my mind tonight
I hear the question and pursuing answer
fused in one sound
that mounts and mounts and then
is split into the old selves,
the tired antagonisms. Do you see?
We were made fools of.
And the scent of mock orange
drifts through the window.

How can I rest?

How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?
Glück currently teaches at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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