Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Telemachus' Kindness - Louise Glück


When I was younger I felt
sorry for myself
compulsively; in practical terms,
I had no father; my mother
lived at her loom hypothesizing
her husband's erotic life; gradually
I realized no child on that island had
a different story; my trials
were the general rule, common
to all of us, a bond
among us, therefore
with humanity: what
a life my mother had, without
compassion for my father's
suffering, for a soul
ardent by nature, thus
ravaged by choice, nor had my father
any sense of her courage, subtly
expressed as inaction, being
himself prone to dramatizing,
to acting out: I found
I could share these perceptions
with my closest friends, as they shared
theirs with me, to test them,
to refine them: as a grown man
I can look at my parents
impartially and pity them both: I hope
always to be able to pity them.

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