A ruthlessly probing family portrait in verse, Gluck's sixth poetry collection confronts, with devastating irony, her father's hollow life and her mother's inability to express emotion. This might seem like a daughter's belated rebellion, except that these fierce, rock-strong, deeply felt lyrics are steeled by love and understanding.
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Louise Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris in 1993. The author of eight books of poetry and one collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry, she has received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. She was named the next U.S. poet laureate in August 2003. Her most recent book is The Seven Ages. Louise Glück teaches at Williams College and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.From Library Journal:
In her fifth book since 1968, Gluck writes introspective poems about her mother and sister, her mother's lost child, the death of her father, a family bound by silences, and a need "to make something whole." Family obsessions are offset by a desire for self-understanding: "In my own mind, I'm invisible: that's why I'm dangerous./ People like me, who seem selfless/ . . . should be factored out/ in the interest of truth." Gluck's "powers of language" seem "wasted" because the mind is skewed by the impermanence of love. Still, one reads Gluck's poems to discover how well she can articulate truths of selfhood. More open and personal than her previous work, these poems offer insights that are painful yet tinged with pleasure and clarified by the knowledge that the price of an "act of creation" is loss.
- Frank Allen, Regents Coll., Albany, N.Y.
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