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Portrait of Louise Glück used for a poster promoting a reading at the Poetry Center at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Louise Glück is the 2020 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

— She published her first book of poetry in 1968 and though it was a lauded work, Glück immediately went through a period of writer's block following its publication. The poet was only able to start writing again after she began teaching at Goddard College.

— She struggled with anorexia as a teenager.

“Dedication to Hunger” by Louise Glück:

It begins quietly
in certain female children:
the fear of death, taking as its form
dedication to hunger,
because a woman’s body
is a grave; it will accept

— She writes about death but her poems are not depressing. …

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Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

some things are not meant to be seen in this world
the fire cuts through
orange as the sky in the west
and i want to write
something needed and relevant
if not that
something to spill out emotions
to process daily grotesque news
of that man whose face you won’t even look at
but when i write
it is all you
coming through the margins
needed and relevant
earnest and beautiful
someone i am glad to have seen in this world

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photo of the author (hugging the horse), her babysitter Debbi, and her sister (on the other horse) -- circa 1980?

the little girl and her horse
such a cliche image
accidentally formed
there is no privilege in that picture
just a kid
adopted by her grandma who worked all the time
just a kid
watched by no one
wanted by no one
lied to by everyone
so the birth mom had her best friend fill in
the best friend with horses
i could ride

i should have gone then
saddled up and left
took the reins in my four-year-old hands
kicked my feet in the stirrups
ridden fast away through the forgiving fields
where the smell of apples would have drawn us to a place by a stream
i should have gone then
sheltered in a nature that welcomed me
supported by a horse that wanted to be there
we would’ve eaten apples together
crossed narrow streams
avoided branches that would go low to cut us
the horse and i
we should’ve gone
because only the babysitter would’ve looked for us
the little girl and her…

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Photo by Rafael Cisneros Méndez on Unsplash

what comes next
could change what came before
a mosaic of beautiful broken pieces
could line up against the will of their source

damaged shards
abandoned glass
tempered by time
could come together at last

but it is hopeless though
isn’t it?
they win, they always win
those parental sores have festered
only leaving scars to pass off as strengths
only leaving a deep trench that cannot be crossed
filled with scars become shrapnel
with states of mind that seem uncontrollable
but fuck them
fuck those pretenders to life-giving
fuck those practicers of virtue-signaling

they are gone

their scars may have lingered
smashing into pieces
beautifully born glasses
that they abandoned and dropped casually
so no one who mattered
would hear the break
and think less of…

No More Narcissist Virus Slinging

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Photo by Daniel Adesina on Unsplash

Kamala Harris should not debate Mike Pence tomorrow night. The Democratic nominee for Vice-President of the United States should not be in a room with someone who has had contact with so many people who are now testing positive for COVID19 — even if that someone is the current vice president.

The Trump administration has made its position clear — not one member of that plague-ridden group supports wearing masks to contain the spread of the pandemic. And that is why they are now a plague-ridden group.

The disgusting reality is that the Trump-offspring all pranced into the debate with Joe Biden (where masks were required) and then proceeded to take off their masks once they were seated. They were then asked to put their masks back on by a member of the staff of the Cleveland Clinic and did not respond. Every one of them had been in contact with Trump or Hope Hicks, so they had all been exposed to the virus — and yet they sat there, smug and maskless, potentially spreading the virus to all around them. …

A Depressives Guide to Work

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Paul Gauguin -- In the Waves (Ondine)

We all want more time and we all want to get more out of our time. There are a lot of writers out there who write really good articles about time management. I am not one of those writers and this is not one of those articles. I suck at time management.

I’m a poet with major depressive disorder, PTSD, and an autoimmune disease that causes periods of massive hair loss, digestive issues, fatigue, and arthritis. …

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Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

When Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away only six weeks before a presidential election, it seemed clear that the Democrats were going to stand firm and fight the good fight. Nancy Pelosi alluded to there being many arrows in her party's quiver and Chuck Schumer bombastically bellowed that no options were off the table to stop Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. …

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Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash

i was the worst person
for you to meet
at that point in your life

you were leaving
a place and the people
that had failed you there
you were relocating
deciding where to go
and there i was
acting like i was a good choice

a bomb was about to go off
and you saw it coming
joked with me about it
“i think she’s going to tell you she’s your mom”
you had experience with that kind of thing
you saw it coming

when it happened
when the bomb went off
you wanted to make sure that i knew it was real
“there’s no reason for her to lie about it”
but i knew she was lying
i was solid in that knowledge
it was ego
that narcissistic monster cutting saw
trying to cut me off from everything i knew
from the one person who had ever loved me
(though she’d been dead for ten years)
that was all her words were
an attempt to undercut
revise history
and i was not going to stand for it
i called out the lie as i saw it
and it did cut me
it did cut me off from the one person
who had ever loved me
it cut me off from…

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Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

The protests by Black Lives Matter have spawned a movement and that movement is now — unsurprisingly and unoriginally — under attack.

The media and the Democratic Party led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are touting the line that they support the demonstrations and are horrified by police brutality — but they are all quick to add that the violence at the demonstrations must stop.

This focus on the violence at Black Lives Matter demonstrations is not only factually inaccurate, it reinforces Trump’s law and order argument for reelection.

And it reinforces the long-standing narrative that all protests against racism in America are riots.


sarah warden

poet. turns wounds into words. Poetry collection: Girls Like You Don’t Break — Poems of Survival

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