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Louise Gluck - First Memory

Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was--
for what I was: from the beginning of time,
in childhood, I thought
that pain meant
I was not loved.
It meant I loved.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 10127 times | Comments and analysis of First Memory by Louise Gluck Comments (5)

First Memory - Comments and Information

Poet: Louise Gluck
Poem: First Memory
Volume: Ararat
Year: Published/Written in 1990
Poem of the Day: Jan 22 2005

Comment 5 of 5, added on February 8th, 2009 at 11:23 PM.

When I was in college, I was lucky enough to have a poetry teacher show the class a first draft of this poem. It was much longer and did not have the impact the final one has. It is comforting to know that even as great a poet as L. Gluck still needs to fuss with it, even sometimes radically, to get it right.

This poem has been a great comfort to me for nearly 20 years.

Comment 4 of 5, added on May 16th, 2008 at 8:35 AM.

I agree. It is a wonderful poem. I was in Language Arts today when my teacher shared it with us (luckily, just for fun, or I might not like it). When I heard it, I immediately understood. A classmate said that she couldn't get it, but I did right away. I love this poem now. It has calmed my heart. Before, I wondered whether I was a good person. I was unsure if I loved my parents or not. But this poem affirmed that I did. It showed me that the lonely pain they give me at times was because I love them, not because I was a monster whom they did not love nor I love them. No, it proved otherwise, and I am joyous.

Comment 3 of 5, added on January 28th, 2005 at 2:27 PM.

Well, unless the 2003-2004 poet lauriate of the US plagerized the very well known John Donne then I think that it is HIGHLY unlikely that this is his poem because I own Ararat by L. Gluck and it is in fact the last poem, page 68. This also does not sound a BIT like John Donne, for the record....

Carolynn from United States

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