This poem

Khawam Semaan-6.8 Beirut time We were sad now we're dead.

Semaan Khawam 6.8 Beirut time We were sad now we're dead

Nostos

by Louise Glück ( 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, born in New York)

 

 There was an apple tree in the yard —

 this would have been

 forty years ago — behind,

 only meadows. Drifts

 off crocus in the damp grass. 

I stood at that window:

 late April. Spring

 flowers in the neighbor's yard.

 How many times, really, did the tree

 flower on my birthday,

 the exact day, not before, not

 after? Substitution

 of the immutable

 for the shifting, the evolving. 

Substitution of the image

 for relentless earth. What

 do I know of this place,

 the role of the tree for decades

 taken by a bonsai, voices

 rising from tennis courts — 

Fields. Smell of the tall grass, new cut.

 As one expects of a lyric poet. 

We look at the world once, in childhood. 

The rest is memory.


 from Meadowlands (Harper Collins).