Thursday, October 08, 2020

Poetry Friday: Louise Glück and a Zoom Poem

I read this week that Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Some of her poems I have shared before: here and here. Congratulations to her!


Last Sunday I tried to go to the Family Quarantine Assembly (which is what my brother has named our family Zoom meeting), and failed. For over an hour I tried, but never succeeded for more than a minute or two at a time. 


So I wrote about it.



Zoom Poem


away from here
to see you all,
got sidetracked
by who knows what.

couldn’t reach you,
just sat here
watching the circle spin,
promising connection

A few times
reached the virtual room
where you all sat
but only for a moment.

Someone said
sounded as though I was melting
and someone else
wondered why
was singing.

It stretches out every syllable you say
someone started to explain

was already gone
from there,
from the Family Quarantine Assembly.

Someone said
She’s trying to be here,
until the meeting was over,

was left
sitting here
(not there)


Ruth, from


Bridget has today's roundup.


Bridget Magee said...

Oh, I can relate to your doomed Zoom call, Ruth. Living in Switzerland, with all my family in the US, has led to more than a few intermittently connected calls. Your poem captures that frustration perfectly. And yes, yay for Louise Glück!

Fran Haley said...

This poem is utterly significant to me at this very moment, as my internet and broadband service went out earlier, just before I was to meet a student. It was beyond my power to fix. Everyone's having issues around here, seeing one another just frozen on screens. "Sitting here/ (not there)/alone," indeed. Ghostlike, really. Perfectly conveyed, Ruth.

Linda B said...

You've captured this moment with the frustration yet the poem reads almost like what those who you heard described. You were trying, but floating away! Well done, Ruth. Wishing you a better connection next time!

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

Oh Ruth, I'm so sorry you couldn't gather virtually with your family this week. Technology is a blessing when it works and an exercise in frustration when it doesn't. I could feel your sadness and frustration in your poem. I hope next week's "assembly" connects all of you successfully.

Linda Kulp Trout said...

So many of us can relate to your poem. This happens to at least one of us every time we try to do a family Zoom meeting. I think you should submit your poem!

Sally Murphy said...

Oh Ruth! Your doomed zoom tugged at my heartstrings - a perfect blend of both gentle humour and melancholy. I could feel your experience. I hope your next zoom blooms.

Karen Eastlund said...

Oh... this is such a good depiction of a sad and frustrating situation. I'm sorry for this. Another bust for 2020. Here's to hanging in there...

Carol Varsalona said...

I have been there, too, Ruth. It is so frustrating and you explained it so well. Connectivity issues plague me all the time. I had no internet this week for 3 days.

Michelle Kogan said...

I like the sentiment in your poem and wordplay, and I hope a better connection awaits you… Thanks for sharing both of your Glück poems, I especially like "A Summer Garden" and the "haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood–" would be nice to have some of those around now.

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, boy did you capture the experience! Watching that little spinning dial...thinking that you'll have connection any second now. This poem is a keeper. It really sums up life these days.

jama said...

Thanks for the utterly relatable poem! We've become even more dependent on the internet with the pandemic. Frustrating at times, but I'm so grateful when it works!

Liz Steinglass said...

Oh my! This is just perfect! You totally captured that sense of fleeting, failing connection. I love your use of zooming!

author amok said...

This poem speaks to me. The lines about the melting voice and zooming away from family, yes!

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, this made me ache and smile at the same time. You evoke that ghost-like feeling perfectly, as well as the attendant frustration. I do like your brother's name for the family Zoom meeting. :)

Longing and waiting for these days to change and for us to all emerge stronger and more loving and more present than ever.

Thanks for this, Ruth.