Jamie's Reviews > The Wild Iris

The Wild Iris by Louise Glück
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's review
Apr 17, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry, read-in-2010
Read from April 06 to 11, 2010

My first encounter with Gluck, who (yay) I'll be seeing read in a little over a week. Hoping to read another book by that point (thinking Ararat, any suggestions?). Frankly, this isn't the sort of poetry I usually find myself drawn in by; it's not particularly violent, or personal, and certainly not bodily. A friend's boyfriend calls it "nice old lady poetry." I'm wondering how many of the 'nice old ladies' I know sit around revising Genesis...

I finished this about a week ago, and wedged in between all of my Sexton and Plath and Hughes reading for this directed study (where I threw Gluck onto the syllabus, simply to carve a space of time where I'd guiltlessly pleasure-read), I have to confess that I can't remember much. But this isn't to say it's unmemorable; in fact, I feel as if I've sort of been stewing in an appreciation for the natural world since then. But metaphorically speaking, the poetry isn't razor sharp; it simmers, it infiltrates. I can remember a handful of lines, mostly the creepy ones ostensibly spoken by the God of the collection; but the ethos of the collection on identity, humanity, beingness--these are things that are sticking with me. I love the notion of a flower disappointed by people; one that inquires why we would want to have a "single self"--when 'one' is such a close companion to 'none.'

It's going to require re-readings, clearly. My love of poetry is only rarely immediate; I only finally decided to reconcile myself to Plath's book The Colossus, after calling her a favorite poet for years...looking forward to reading more Gluck, and particularly, to seeing her speak next week. Perhaps I'll update the review at that point.

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