First Snow

Louise Gluck

copyright ©2009 by Louise Gluck

Like a child, the earth’s going to sleep,
or so the story goes.

But I’m not tired, it says.
And the mother says, You may not be tired but I’m tired—

You can see it in her face, everyone can.
So the snow has to fall, sleep has to come.
Because the mother’s sick to death of her life
and needs silence.

Notes on the Poem

We're thrilled when the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlists spark adventures for readers: new poets, new poems, new poetic styles, reawakening or awakening for the first time a love for a literary genre previously unexplored. We're especially delighted when that discovery comes through Griffin Poetry Prize anthologies, which compile highlights each year of the shortlisted international and Canadian works. We are so pleased to present here one reader's refreshing examination of Louise Glück's "First Snow", from the shortlisted collection "A Village Life," also showcased in the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize anthology. As we mention in the introductory section of this web site, "By funding the Griffin Poetry Prize – the world’s largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in English ­ The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry aims to spark the public’s imagination and raise awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in our cultural life." Something sparked for a blogger with the moniker livinginthestacks with this featured poem, and her lovely reflections on it are found here. Has a poem from a Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted collection intrigued, enchanted or challenged you? Would you like to share your "notes on the poem" with us, and with other poetry lovers? (Take a look back through our Poem of the Week archives if you'd like some inspiration.) Contact us via or tweet us @griffinpoetry. We look forward to reading your notes on poems!

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