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The House on the Marshland

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  189 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 1st 1976 by Anvil Press Poetry
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mwpm mwpm
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The collection is broken into two part: "All Hallows" and "The Apple Trees"

The poems of "All Hallows" are predominantly about childhood and mythology. The poems about childhood can be divided into childhood generally (poems such as "The Pond" and "The School Children") and the poet's childhood specifically (poems such as "For My Mother" and "Still Life").

The hills are far away. They rise up
blacker than childhood.
- The Pond

How orderly they are - the nails
on which the children hang
their overcoat
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I first encountered this book of poetry in the mid-70s, and some of the poems have stayed with me ever since. Perhaps most of all, "Gretel in Darkness," which begins:

"This is the world we wanted.
All who would have seen us dead
are dead. I hear the witch's cry
break in the moonlight through a sheet
of sugar: God rewards.
Her tongue shrivels into gas . . ."

Wow. This woman really knew how to do it.
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Louise. "Instruct me in the dark." This is a book about compression, about the physics of emotion. Unflinching. Possessed. More a live animal than a book of poems, this is one of my top ten books, regardless of genre.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: louise-gluck, poetry
Far away you turn your head:
through still grass the wind
moves into a human language
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, feminist
As with Firstborn, I look forward to finding out what was going on in Glück's life and how that may have influenced her in its writing, but I purposely read it without any referents in order to see what I'd make of it on its own.

This is a collection concentrated on the fecund decay of autumn and the paradox of life at peak ripeness so soon before its end. This metaphor is projected onto life and death and the realms in between, as in one of my new favorite poems about the Persophone myth,"Pomeg
Laurence Li
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's always great to see classic tales become formalized, twisted, strange versions of themselves, and so I have to echo the other reviewers' praise for Hansel and Gretel; and I mean who couldn't love a poem that starts contains such a brutally honest line like "I am not young anymore"?
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, own-already
I enjoyed this collection more than the previous book. Even though it was published in the 1970s, both sections,'All Hallows' and 'The Apple Trees', are still relevant today. Especially a few of the poems in the second part of the book, I don't think I would have the same appreciation if I had read this before becoming a mother.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There is a soul in me / It is asking / to be given its body" ...

Louise Gluck is spellbinding. The poems in The House on Marshland are quiet, meditative, beckoning. The speaker's tender, thoughtful voice carefully considers love in its most vulnerable, bare-faced death, the apple wood of fire, the child and the apple tree, God, and motherhood. Each poem picks up an object, handles it with care, before lying it back down--japonicas, the ocean, a kneeling martyr. It is powerhouse writing, and Loui
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"And already in its deep groove
the train is waiting with its breath of ashes."

"We were on the pier, you desiring
that I see the Pleiades. I could see
everything but what you wished."

"Look how the leaves drift in the darkness.
We have burned away
all that was written on them."
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purchased for "Gretel in Darkness," discovered in a student compendium.

Also enjoyed: All Hallows, The Undertaking, The Letters, and a few others, like The Swimmer.

Sometimes in Gluck I encounter a sort of small, everyday rapture: her language is as simple and shocking as ice. Not a glacial melt: just a woman and her warm, human hands holding ice she makes to melt. Gluck is a woman who keeps time with ice cubes, marking an afternoon's flood into night.

"It is night for the last time.
For the last t
Mike Jensen
The author said this is better than her first book, and it is. I respect it more than I like it, however. I find these poems uninvolving and unmoving. There is also the curious habit of using a word that seem inappropriate, such as in "Even now the landscape is assembling." Assembling? I could understand this if the sun was rising, but it seems to setting, if I interpret the next line correctly. I recently read an article that praised Gluck for doing this. Now, having read two of her books, the ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-poetry-man

Do not think I am not grateful for your small
kindness to me.
I like small kindnesses.
In fact I actually prefer them to the more
substantial kindness, that is always eyeing you,
like a large animal on a rug,
until your whole life reduces
to nothing but waking up morning after morning
cramped, and the bright sun shining on its tusks.
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Each successive reading of Glück 's poetry reveals what a gifted wordsmith she is. This, her second volume of poetry, is smoother and more fluid that her first, "Firstborn". As soon as I finished the book, I started over again from the beginning. New layers and perspectives are discovered each time.
Sep 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like the direct clear voice of these poems, and when I first read this slim collection I liked it so much that I have carried it with me for 25 years. But...I never felt enough to revisit the poems. Now I have reread, and now the volume is perched atop the sell or give away pile.
Troy VanGundy
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"we are there still and it is real, real,
that black goreng and the fire in earnest."

This book of poems is worth the read for Gretel in Darkness, let alone the other lush poems you will find.

Other standouts for me: Gratitude, Pomegranate, To Autumn, Departure, Love Poem, Under Taurus.
Derek Emerson
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
My journey through Gluck's works continue to impress me. This short collection has many poems which call you back for a closer rereading. Her simple and direct language challenge you as you can tell more is required from you involvement. An excellent collection.
Not my favorite Gluck.
Reread for the third time.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, w
I didn't find much in this. I enjoyed it more than her first volume, but not by much. Nothing sprang out at me, ached for me to accept it and take it as my own.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lindsey by: Marianne
Favorites: "All Hallows," "Gretel in Darkness," "To Autumn," "Gratitude," "Gemini," and "The Undertaking"
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyable. love her style. some of her pieces i can do without, but some are just so incredible. worth it.
Favourite poems: Gretel in Darkness; The Fire; Gratitude.
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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
More about Louise Glück
“She has the look of one who seeks
some greater and destroying passion”
More quotes…