Friday, August 23, 2013

 

Louise Gluck's Piercing Poetry

The January 11, 2013 issue of Entertainment Weekly contains Jeff Giles' one page review ("Love, Loss, The Whole Damn Thing") of Louise Gluck's poetry anthology Poems 1962-2012. Giles declares, "Louise Gluck is my favorite non-dead poet. She's spent 50 years obsessed with our differing capacities for love and joy, and our grasping, tentative stabs at understanding life, never mind death. Gluck can be severe. But the flashes of beauty in her writing are more profound because they are clearly hard-won."

Here is an excerpt from her 2004 poem "October":

Come to me, said the world. I was standing
in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal--
I can finally say
long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty

the healer, the teacher--

death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.

Here is one more tasty, bittersweet Gluck morsel: "in childhood, I thought/that pain meant/I was not loved./It meant I loved."

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