Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Review, March 24, 2013: Louise Gluck: Poems 1962-2012

Madame L, Poetry's # 1 Fan,  has found another great volume of poems she thinks her Dear Readers who are also fans of poetry will enjoy: the collected poems of Louise Gluck, poems written between 1962 and 2012.

The book is over 600 pages long. That's a lot of poems. Madame L has not even come close to reading all of them. Madame L can't devour poems the way she does novels. She has to take a nibble here, a nibble there, a long nap, and then a few more nibbles, to let her mind digest the nectar, to let the beauty sink in deep.

Aw, see what Madame L just did? She started waxing poetic, just because she was writing about poetry --- and just because she has been reading so much of it lately. But that's not bad, and Madame L encourages her Dear Readers not to fear the magical ability of poetry to transform them, too.

Some poems Madame L really enjoyed were "The Queen of Carthage," "Persephone the Wanderer," and "Gratitude," which she will copy right here so her Dear Readers can enjoy it, too:


Do not think I am not grateful for your small
kindness to me.
I like small kindnesses.
In fact I actually prefer them to the more
substantial kindness, that is always eyeing you,
like a large animal on a rug,
until your whole life reduces
to nothing but waking up morning after morning
cramped, and the bright sun shining on its tusks.

You can also find information about Louise Gluck on the Poetry Foundation's website, which has links to interviews, articles, and other poems.

Madame L checked this collection out of her local library because she thought it was too expensive to buy (just under $30 at, but she has to take it back to the library this week, so she's going to buy a couple of the smaller collections in paperback so she can keep nibbling at these words. 

Madame L also thinks it's easier to nibble at words when they come in little paperback books. The huge volumes are as intimidating as a giant sub on a full stomach.

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