Pulitzer Prize winner, Louise Gluck’s Poems 1962-2012, now in paperback from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, collects her eleven books into one substantial, elegant volume. While Gluck, whose father invented the X-acto knife, has favored a lean, stark line throughout the fifty years of her published verse, she has reinvented her voice with each subsequent book, making this collection one of astounding breadth and depth. Drawing from myth and family, from nature and sex and her own body, she addresses to her reader directly, with courage and simplicity.
It is not the moon, I tell you.
It is these flowers
lighting the yard.
I hate them.
I hate them as I hate sex,
the man’s mouth
sealing my mouth, the man’s
and the cry that always escapes,
the low, humiliating
premise of union—
From Louise Gluck’s poem, “Mock Orange”
To read Louise Gluck’s poetry is to face one woman’s truth unmasked, in all its fierceness and beauty.