American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · German-American Culture · Passage · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

You shall not twist my bonesinto a star’s shape, nor plant my hairas roots for the dreams of the living;and if you open my heartand run your poet’s fingersover its walls and cushionsyou will find it is like yours,dark. — Lisel Mueller; “Noli Me Tangere,” Dependencies: Poems. (LSU Press March 1, 1998)  

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · German-American Culture · Passage · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

“Sometimes, When the Light” Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd anglesand pulls you back into childhood and you are passing a crumbling mansioncompletely hidden behind old willows or an empty convent guarded by hemlocksand giant firs standing hip to hip, you know again that behind that wall,under the uncut hair of the willows something… Continue reading Lisel Mueller

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · German-American Culture · Passage · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

Why We Tell Stories IBecause we used to have leavesand on damp daysour muscles feel a tug,painful now, from when rootspulled us into the ground and because our children believethey can fly, an instinct retainedfrom when the bones in our armswere shaped like zithers and brokeneatly under their feathers and because before we had lungswe… Continue reading Lisel Mueller

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American Culture · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · German-American Culture · Passage · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

How swiftly the strained honey of afternoon light flows into darkness and the closed bud shrugs off its special mystery in order to break into blossom: as if what exists, exists so that it can be lost and become precious — Lisel Mueller, “In Passing,” Alive Together (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996).

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American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · German-American Culture · Passage · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

2. How I would Paint Happiness Something sudden, a windfall, a meteor shower. No – a flowering tree releasing all its blossoms at once, and the one standing beneath it unexpectedly robed in bloom, transformed into a stranger to beautiful to touch. — Lisel Mueller, from ” Imaginary Paintings,” Alive Together: New and Selected Poems. (LSU… Continue reading Lisel Mueller

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American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · German-American Culture · Poetry

Lisel Mueller

Why We Tell Stories I Because we used to have leaves and on damp days our muscles feel a tug, painful now, from when roots pulled us into the ground and because our children believe they can fly, an instinct retained from when the bones in our arms were shaped like zithers and broke neatly… Continue reading Lisel Mueller

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