A major career-spanning collection from the inimitable Nobel Prize-winning poet
For the past fifty years, Louise Glück has been a major force in modern poetry, distinguished as much for the restless intelligence, wit and intimacy of her poetic voice as for her development of a particular form: the book-length sequence of poems. This volume brings together the twelve collections Glück has published to date, offering readers the opportunity to become immersed in the artistry and vision of one of the world's greatest living poets.
From the allegories of The Wild Iris to the myth-making of Averno; the oneiric landscapes of The House on Marshland to the questing of Faithful and Virtuous Night - each of Glück's collections looks upon the events of an ordinary life and finds within them scope for the transcendent; each wields its archetypes to puncture the illusions of the self. Across her work, elements are reiterated but endlessly transfigured - Persephone, a copper beech, a mother and father and sister, a garden, a husband and son, a horse, a dog, a field on fire, a mountain. Taken together, the effect is like a shifting landscape seen from above, at once familiar and unspeakably profound.
One of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing -- Robert Hass
No American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature -- Stephen Dobyns
It is difficult to think of another living poet whose voice contains so much electrifying undercurrent, whose rhythms are under such control, but whose work is also so exposed and urgent. -- Colm Tóibín - Guardian
A tremendous poet ... Louise Glück has spent a lifetime showing us how to make language both mean something and hold everything -- Claudia Rankine - Guardian
Put together, these compact volumes have a great novel's cohesiveness and raking moral intensity. They display a supple and prosecutorial mind interrogating not merely her own life but also the sensual and political nature of the world that spins around it. . . . No other poet slices with such accuracy and deadly intent . . . Glück is fearless. -- Dwight Garner - New York Times
Glück is among the most moving poets of our era . . . This voice is not going to go away. -- Dan Chiasson - New Yorker
As with other great poets, Glück does not invite paraphrase. Her poems at their best--and they are very often at their best--embody not just the rage to order, but also the rage to identify a 'truth' that no order can approximate or touch. -- Robert Boyers - Nation
Glück is as important and influential a poet as we have in America . . . Glück's work is all edges . . . the sharper ones can inflict heavenly hurt, where the meanings are. If you want to know about the last half-century of American poetry, you need to read these poems." -- Michael Robbins - Los Angeles Review of Books
You read a passage by Glück and think, Ah yes, of course, this is how it is. She has the extraordinary writer's gift of making clear what is, outside the world of her poem, complex ... [and] a compassionate, comprehensive vision of human understanding and destiny. Her poetry, for all its huge distinction, its vibrant intelligence and its beauty, has never lost the ability to serve society, or the reader. -- Fiona Sampson - Guardian
Glück is unparalleled in finding beauty in tribulation more so than any American poet since Emily Dickinson. -- David Biespiel - The Oregonian
Glück's poems face truths that most people, most poets, deny ... A Glück book can seem both visceral and cerebral, full of thought and full of grit and pith. If the earliest successes echoed Sylvia Plath, the latest reach beyond American poetry, to the melancholy generosity of Anton Chekhov, the shifting perspectives of Alice Munro. -- Stephanie Burt - Guardian
Glück's voice is like no other in modern American poetry. Her poetic domain--like that of Wallace Stevens--lies in the seclusion of analytic thought. The seamless continuity of her verse suggests a mind in perpetual meditation, deliberating in a state of waking dream. Her laserlike intensity purifies as it objectifies and erodes, leaving an indelible impression on the reader. -- Rita Signorelli-Pappas - World Literature Today
Glück explores--with growing mastery and imagination, candor and wide-ranging inquiry, intensity and restraint--the turmoil of family life; the fever, bliss, and misery of lust and love; the circular battle with the self; age and death. For 50 years, Glück has been writing poems of formal elegance, psychic intimacy, brainy fusion, emotional acuity, and aesthetic splendor. Her assembled life's work is magnificent. - Booklist
Though Glück has held national fame since the late 1970s for her terse, pared-down poems, this first career-spanning collected may be the most widely noted, and the most praised, collected poems in some time. - Publishers Weekly
A rare and high imagination ... Glück's poems are delicately intense, spun out of fire and air, with a tensile strength that belies their fragility. Everything she touches turns to music and legend -- Stanley Kunitz
Glück is a poet to guide us through the frightening world -- Thea Hawlin
Glück's is a voice unlike any other, teeming with phrases and stanzas that are sets of instructions on how to be human -- Ian McMillan
About the Author
Louise Glück is the author of twelve books of poems and two essay collections. Her many awards include the Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bollingen Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and Stanford University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.