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).
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
Even now, when the plot calls for me to turn to stone, the sun intervenes. Some mornings in summer, I step outside and the sky opens and pours itself into me as if I were a saint about to die. But the plot calls for me to live, be ordinary, say nothing to anyone. Inside… Continue reading Lisel Mueller
Moon Fishing When the moon was full they came to the water. some with pitchforks, some with rakes, some with sieves and ladles, and one with a silver cup. And they fished til a traveler passed them and said, “Fools, to catch the moon you must let your women spread their hair on the water… Continue reading Lisel Mueller
Monet Refuses the Operation Doctor, you say that there are no halos around the streetlights in Paris and what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an affliction. I tell you it has taken me all my life to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, to soften and blur and… Continue reading 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
In winter we close the windowsand read Chekhov,nearly weeping for his world. What luxury, to be so happythat we can grieveover imaginary lives. — Lisel Mueller, from “Late Hours,” Waving From Shore. (LSU Press, December 1, 1989)