For National Poetry Month, I am going to record some of my favorite poems and talk a little about what they mean to me. I hope you enjoy!
I encountered The Wild Iris for the first time in 1995, in a graduate poetry workshop at Southern Connecticut State University. My first marriage was brand new and also about to end, and my father had died two years before. This book and this poem, “Snow Drops,” broke me open, painfully, blessedly. It’s a cliché to say it saved me, but that’s exactly what it did.
Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.
I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–
afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy
in the raw wind of the new world.
–from The Wild Iris, by Louise Glück