It is true there is not enough beauty in the world.It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.I amat work, though I am silent.The blandmisery of the worldbounds us on either side, an alleylined with trees; we arecompanions here, not speaking,each with his own thoughts;behind the trees, irongates of the private houses,the shuttered roomssomehow deserted, abandoned,as though it were the artist’sduty to createhope, but out of what? what?the word itselffalse, a device to refuteperception— At the intersection,ornamental lights of the season.I was young here. Ridingthe subway with my small bookas though to defend myself againstthis same world:you are not alone,the poem said,in the dark tunnel.Louise Gluck, no.5 from ‘October,’ Averno
It is true there is not enough beauty in the world.
It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.

I am
at work, though I am silent.

The bland

misery of the world
bounds us on either side, an alley

lined with trees; we are

companions here, not speaking,
each with his own thoughts;

behind the trees, iron
gates of the private houses,
the shuttered rooms

somehow deserted, abandoned,

as though it were the artist’s
duty to create
hope, but out of what? what?

the word itself
false, a device to refute
perception— At the intersection,

ornamental lights of the season.

I was young here. Riding
the subway with my small book
as though to defend myself against

this same world:

you are not alone,
the poem said,
in the dark tunnel.

Louise Gluck, no.5 from ‘October,’ Averno
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