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Vita Nova

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  568 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Since, 1990, Louise Glück has been exploring a form that is, according to poet Robert Hass, her invention. Vita Nova -- like its immediate predecessors, a book-length sequence -- combines the ecstatic utterance of The Wild Iris with the worldly dramas elaborated in Meadowlands. Vita Nova is a book that exists in the long moment of spring, a book of deaths and beginnings, r ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by Ecco (first published 1999)
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Aug 15, 2014 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Shelves: american, poetry
"Life is very weird, no matter how it ends, /
very filled with dreams. Never /
will I forget your face, your frantic human eyes /
swollen with tears. /
I thought my life was over and my heart was broken. /
Then I moved to Cambridge."

When I first read Glück's poetry, I was impressed by the force and clarity of her images, as well as hear weaving of myth and personal emotion. There is plenty of that here, but I also got the sense that Glück enjoys playing with these languid structures and would happi
Sep 09, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
In Vita Nova, Louise Glück returns to her most common themes: Love and Death...
Surely spring has been returned to me, this time
not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet
it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.
- Vita Nova I (pg. 2)

Brutal to love,
more brutal to die.
And brutal beyond the reaches of justice
to die of love.
- The Queen of Carthage (pg. 5)

I was afraid of love, of being taken away.
Everyone afraid of love is afraid of death.
- Timor Mortis (pg. 15)

Throughout th
Courtney Johnston
Surely spring has been returned to me, this time
not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet
it is still spring, it is meant tenderly.

A slim little book that circles around death, and loss, particularly women loved and forsaken or lost: the voice of the poet herself (presumably), mixed with that of Eurydice, Dido, Penelope, and the men that left them; Aeneas who has enough love already in the very blood that runs in his veins; Orpheus (I have lost my Eurydice, / I have lost my lover, / and sudden
Aug 04, 2009 Nicola rated it really liked it
On the hierarchy of her own work, I'd put this collection between "The Wild Iris" and "Seven Ages." Not quite her best, but not my least favorite either. Moments of utter brilliance. Moments that felt a little more stagey. Also, an unexpected humor in parts that felt wry after so much of Gluck's trademark intensity: from "Condo:" "...I hate / When your own dreams treat you as stupid," from "Mutable Earth:" "In the bathtub, I examine my body / We're supposed to do that." Noticed the constant upwa ...more
Dec 15, 2007 W.B. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is my favorite Gluck book of those I've read (not nearly all). I don't know what my favorite is among those I have not read yet. I love the fun she has with the lyric tradition. People so often misread her as this uber-sincere, confessional writer, when I think she actually skewers the personal lyric tradition more cogently and hilariously than so many avant-garde poets (who tend to be much more ham-fisted in their attacks). The way she gets herself out of this collection (the final poem) i ...more
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Glück was born in New York City of Hungarian Jewish heritage and grew up on Long Island. Glück attended Sarah Lawrence College and later Columbia University.

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
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“The master said You must write what you see.
But what I see does not move me.
The master answered Change what you see.
More quotes…