Louise Gluck was born in 1943 and is a professor and a former Poet Laureate. Her poems are well known, or at least as well known as they can be for poets… As always, the Poetry Foundation has a nice collection of her work that you can check out at:
I picked up her book, Averno, at the public library. This is a fairly recent publication, 2006, and therefore more easily found for purchase in book-stores. The beginning poem, “The Night Migrations” catches you right away and it is one of those short, seemingly simple poems. The last stanza asks a very good question in reference to the dead not being able to see things that we, the living, can. “What will the soul do for solace then?” and goes on to say “maybe just not being is simply enough/hard as that is to imagine.”
From there, the poems continue to reach out and pull you in a little more and a little more. Some poems you can read quickly, Gluck’s deserve some time to savor, to be read just a little slower. There are many lines that can be read too fast where you might miss the “pull” I described earlier. Lines such as:
Sunrise. A film of moisture
On each living thing.
--from the poem “October” number 3.
I often hear of dew, but I’ve never thought of a film of moisture on every living thing. Little things like this are throughout the poems and can be easy to miss. Louise has a wonderful way of making sure you are paying attention without being too flowery, intense, or confrontational. There are so many poems with great lines and I could go on and on but I won’t for your sake. Please look through the archive of poems on the Poetry Foundation and absolutely take the time to check her out in the library or the book-store. She is very pleasing, “pleasing” to me seems the perfect word for it.
Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another Monday edition of a Great Poetry Web-Site.