Vita Nova by Louise Gluck

  • Vita Nova

    You saved me, you should remember me.
    The spring of the year; young men buying tickets for the ferryboats.
    Laughter, because the air is full of apple blossoms.
    When I woke up, I realized I was capable of the same feeling.
    I remember sounds like that from my childhood,
    laughter for no cause, simply because the world is beautiful,
    something like that.
    Lugano. Tables under the apple trees.
    Deckhands raising and lowering the colored flags.
    And by the lake’s edge, a young man throws his hat into the water;
    perhaps his sweetheart has accepted him.
    sounds or gestures like
    a track laid down before the larger themes
    and then unused, buried.
    Islands in the distance. My mother
    holding out a plate of little cakes—
    as far as I remember, changed
    in no detail, the moment
    vivid, intact, having never been
    exposed to light, so that I woke elated, at my age
    hungry for life, utterly confident—
    By the tables, patches of new grass, the pale green
    pieced into the dark existing ground.
    Surely spring has been returned to me, this time
    not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet
    it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.

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