Yesterday, the American poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy awarded her the prize "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
We're extremely happy with this news and we want to share with you some of her most impressive works!
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The Wild Iris
This collection of stunningly beautiful poems encompasses the natural, human, and spiritual realms, and is bound together by the universal themes of time and mortality. With clarity and sureness of craft, Gluck's poetry questions, explores, and finally celebrates the ordeal of being alive.
Louise Glück sows the fertile subject ground of marital discord in harvesting this crop of gems. The poems zing back and forth as the verses alternate between man and woman.
Vita Nova -- like its immediate predecessors, a book-length sequence -- combines the ecstatic utterance of The Wild Iris with the worldly dramas elaborated in Meadowlands. Vita Nova is a book that exists in the long moment of spring, a book of deaths and beginnings, resignation and hope, brutal, luminous, and farseeing.
The First Four Books of Poems
The fierce, austerely beautiful voice that has become Glück's trademark speaks in these poems of a life lived in unflinching awareness.
Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld. Averno is an extended lamentation, its long, restless poems no less spellbinding for being without conventional resolution or consolation, no less ravishing for being savage, grief-stricken. What Averno provides is not a map to a point of arrival or departure, but a diagram of where we are, the harrowing, enduring present.
Faithful and Virtuous Night
You enter the world of this spellbinding book through one of its many dreamlike portals, and each time you enter it's the same place but it has been arranged differently. You were a woman. You were a man. This is a story of adventure, an encounter with the unknown, a knight's undaunted journey into the kingdom of death; this is a story of the world you've always known. Faithful and Virtuous Night tells a single story but the parts are mutable, the great sweep of its narrative mysterious and fateful, heartbreaking, and charged with wonder.
Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry
Glück brings to her prose the same precision of language, the same incisiveness, and insight that distinguish her poetry. The force of her thought is evident everywhere in these essays, from her explorations of other poets' work to her skeptical contemplation of current literary critical notions such as "sincerity" and "courage."
American Originality: Essays on Poetry
Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück’s second book of essays. From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways.
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