About the Author:
Louise Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris in 1993. The author of eight books of poetry and one collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry, she has received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. She was named the next U.S. poet laure
"When the taxi came, my parents watched from the front door,
arm in arm, my mother blowing kisses as she always does,
because it frightens her when a hand isn't being used.
But for a change, my father didn't just stand there.
This time, he waved.
I could, for example, say I grew up in a poor county in a poor state where kids were expected to work in the fields and forgo school when there was work to be done, where the school year was kept to 8 months so the boys could help in setting, housing, and stripping the tobacco crop. Nobody had time to analyze the finer feelings of sibling rivalry, so why should I give a ...more
This centers on the loss of a father; a renewed consciousness of the (now-widowed) mother; the difficult and ...more
This is a great book - the first I have read by Louise Gluck.
It was also the only one left on the shelf at the library following her nomination for "book of the year" for "Faithful and Virtuous Night" which I will have to wait to read.
In this book - she is very honest in her experiences.
I can feel her drawing up buckets from a deep well of "loneliness" and "not enough."
She contrasts her childhood experience against that of her own as (now) a mother, and also as viewed through her perspective of ...more
- George Bernard Shaw
Just as G. B. Shaw's man writes about all people and all time, Glück writes about all families in this personal portrait of her family. Like her previous collections, Glück's poetry is preoccupied with family and death. The poems yielded by this subject matter, however, is not what the reader may expect. She writes about death without succumbing to morbidity. She wri ...more
Ararat examines the complex, formative nature of familial love. The verb examine is appropriate. There is something clinical but not detached, because there is an intensity about her probing, in the poems’ pre ...more
As with "Descending Figure," I enjoyed the spareness of the language in the book, as well as some interesting metaphors: her framing of new widows and new orphans as being "born" into a different life was a thought-provoking treatment of birth and death; her metaphor that her dead sister's buried body is a magnet for her mother's heart was stunning; and her complicated image of a magnifying glass and a flowe ...more
"my mother's heart became
very cold, very rigid,
like a tiny pendant of iron"
The pendant, I should think, is cold and rigid already. Stating it weakens it.
The narrative throughout the book I like; the Biblical themes, the family, the deaths and births. The book as a whole is far better than the individual poems, which tend to be better than their individual lines, which tend to be worse than their individual images. There ...more
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, ...more
Favorites: "A Fable," "New World," "Animals," "Children Coming Home from School," "Celestial Music"
Glück is the author of twelve books of poetry, including: "A Village Life" (2009); Averno (2006), which was a finalist for The National Book Award; The Seven Ages (2001); Vita Nova (1999), which was awarded The New Yorker's Book Award in Poetr ...more
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all my mother's life, my father
held her down, like
lead strapped to her ankles.
buoyant by nature;
she wanted to travel,
go to the theater, go to museums.
What he wanted
was to lie on the couch
with the Times
over his face,
so that death, when it came,
wouldn't seem a significant change.”