Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 112 October (section 2) - Louise Glück


Connor and Jack revisit Louise Glück after she won the Nobel Prize in Literature, discussing Part 2 of the poem "October." They explore the poem's haunting and brilliant use of repetition, its idea of "balm after violence," and the poem's connection with the myth of Persephone, 9/11, and the current American moment.

Read the poem in its entirety [here](
Read more about Glück [here](

By: Louise Glück

Summer after summer has ended,
balm after violence:
it does me no good
to be good to me now;
violence has changed me.

Daybreak. The low hills shine
ochre and fire, even the fields shine.
I know what I see; sun that could be
the August sun, returning
everything that was taken away—

You hear this voice? This is my mind’s voice;
you can’t touch my body now.
It has changed once, it has hardened,
don’t ask it to respond again.

A day like a day in summer.
Exceptionally still. The long shadows of the maples
nearly mauve on the gravel paths.
And in the evening, warmth. Night like a night in summer.

It does me no good; violence has changed me.
My body has grown cold like the stripped fields;
now there is only my mind, cautious and wary,
with the sense it is being tested.

Once more, the sun rises as it rose in summer;
bounty, balm after violence.
Balm after the leaves have changed, after the fields
have been harvested and turned.

Tell me this is the future,
I won’t believe you.
Tell me I’m living,
I won’t believe you.
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