Lisel Mueller’s poetry offers us Hope

“Hope” is a beautiful poem by Lisel Mueller, published in Alive Together: New and Selected Poems by LSU Press; First edition (October 1, 1996).

Hope
By Lisel Mueller

It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.

It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
surviving cruelty,
it is the motion that runs the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.

It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God

It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.

I also love Lisel Mueller’s poem, “Monet Refuses the Operation,” about French Impressionist Claude Monet: Failing eyesight or spiritual insight: a poet’s interpretation of a master artist’s vision.

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4 Responses to “Lisel Mueller’s poetry offers us Hope”

  1. Failing eyesight or spiritual insight: a poet’s interpretation of a master artist’s vision | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Enjoy another beautiful poem by Lisel Mueller in this post: Lisel Mueller’s poetry offers us Hope. […]

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  2. Margot Suettmann Says:

    For lack of a better word she uses “hope”, a beautiful word by the way. I would replace it with “consciousness”, because we may feel hopeless, but we will always return to consciousness:
    “it is the singular gift
    we cannot destroy in ourselves,
    the argument that refutes death,
    the genius that invents the future.”
    And although we may feel hopeless and even end our physical existence as a kind of an homage to lost hopes, life goes on, consciousness goes on. So then we may as well continue and renew our hopes by aligning with the evolutionary force deep within us. We may lose hope, but that power does never lose hope and it invests that hope in us and sees that it eventually succeeds.

    Like

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