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Louise Gluck says in one of her essays that every end of a book is for her a "conscious diagnostic act, a swearing off" in which she discerns the themes, habits, and preoccupations of the previous volume to define the tasks of the next. The First Four Books of Poems shows this poet in the conscious evolution she describes, marking time in changes. Readers will hear specifics of sequence: where the ferocious tension of her first book, Firstborn, moves towards the more finely-spun lyricism of her second, The House on Marshland. They will also discover how the charged nouns of that book acquire more intimate weight to become the icons in her third, Descending Figure, and then rise to an archetypal mythic scale in The Triumph of Achilles. These poems are as various as the force of Gluck's intelligence is constant.
In another essay, she cautions, "the deft skirting of despair is a life lived on the surface, intimidated by depth, a life that refuses to be used by time, which it tries instead to dominate or evade." The First Four Books of Poems attests to how truly Gluck has tested and proven the validity of her own warning. The fierce, austerely beautiful voice that has become Gluck's trademark speaks in these poems of a life lived in unflinching awareness. Always she is moving in and around the achingly real, writing poems adamant in their accuracy and depth. Their progression is proof of her commitment to change; with her first four books of poetry collected in a single volume, Louise Gluck shows herself happily "used by time."
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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.Review:
"This is courageous writing .... when Gluck applies lyric grace to her own mysterious vision she captivates her readers, assuming her rightful place among the finest poets of the age."-- Mary Karr, author of "The Liar's Club""[Louise Gluck's] poems are delicately intense, spun out of fire and air, with a tensile strength that belies their fragility. They are rooted in landscape and weather and, increasingly, in intimacies of the heart. Everything she touches turns to music and legend."-- Stanley Kunitz"Gluck's ... poetry is rock-bottom hard and final yet marked by a sentience next to clairvoyance, and subtle surprise, and strong beauty. In the midst of the usual fumbling well-meant 'delightful' efforts of the poetry of any age, poems like hers must come as a liberating rout of everything would-be, tepid, maundering, arbitrary."-- Calvin Bedient
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Book Description Ecco, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0880014210
Book Description Ecco, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110880014210
Book Description The Ecco Press, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New Book. Stated First Edition, First Printing. NOT a remainder. NOT a book club edition. NOT price-clipped ($22.00 price intact). Published by The Ecco Press, 1995. Brown cloth over tan boards with bright gold stamped spine lettering. Book is new; clean, tight, sharp corners, bright spine lettering. Dust jacket is new. No writing, highlighting, underlining, dog ears, etc. No rips or tears. Pages and boards crisp and straight. Spine un-broken with no spine lean. Book in un-read condition. Octavo. 216 pages. ISBN: 0-88001-421-0. 100% positive feedback. 30 day money back guarantee. NEXT DAY SHIPPING! Excellent customer service. Please email with any questions or if you would like a photo. All books packed carefully and ships with free delivery confirmation/tracking. All books come with free bookmarks. Ships from Sag Harbor, New York. Seller Inventory # ABE-17151646724