Lightly Child, Lightly.

This is how you live when you have a cold heart.
As I do: in shadows, trailing over cool rock,
under the great maple trees.

The sun hardly touches me.
Sometimes I see it in early spring, rising very far away.
Then leaves grow over it, completely hiding it. I feel it
glinting through the leaves, erratic,
like someone hitting the side of a glass with a metal spoon.

Living things don’t all require
light in the same degree. Some of us
make our own light: a silver leaf
like a path no one can use, a shallow
lake of silver in the darkness under the great maples.

But you know this already.
You and the others who think
you live for truth and, by extension, love
all that is cold.

Louise Glück, from “Lamium” in Poems 1962-2012


  • Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris. Glück is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award (Triumph of Achilles), the Academy of American Poet’s Prize (Firstborn), as well as numerous Guggenheim fellowships.
  • Portrait of Louise Glück by  Poem via misguided ghosts
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”


  1. Very strange and interesting! Need to read more to make sense of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What did you and Glück just do?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, WHAT the hxxk are you making me do, David?! I was all set to FINALLY take my shower and now I‘m sitting here, pondering the dark sides of Mrs Glück. The first discrepancy jumped at me immediately. Glück means Happiness; and she is definitely not oozing happiness in this poem. Then I read about her (only a few minutes, I MUST take my shower…) and I was amazed about the history of her development…. Then, coming back to you, I see (as it happens a bit too often!) that Sawsan already put it nicely in words and now I see, I CAN go and give my body an uplift, as she will sort us out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gratitude for both the dark as well as the light

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes…

      I love people like Thomas Merton because half the time he’s in his hermitage. He’s chafing against it. He’s knocking against the walls. He’s longing to be out in the world, and he’s honest enough to say that, as you said, the electricity comes in the tension and that there’s no sense of light without a darkness and without a dark night of the soul. I once spent some time in Iceland in the middle of the summer when the sun doesn’t set for 90 days and nights, so it’s always light out. It was very disorienting. I had lost all sense of when to eat, when to sleep, when to dream. It was a tiny physical reminder that we need that cycle of light and dark.

      ~ Pico Iyer, The Urgency of Slowing Down. An Interview with Krista Tippett (Onbeing, November, 2018)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Brrrr….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. that is wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: