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Winter Recipes from the Collective

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A New York Times Notable Book (2021) The 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück's thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient. Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrumen A New York Times Notable Book (2021) The 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück's thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient. Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrument to make itself heard, dolente, its line sustained, carried, and then taken up by the next instrument, spirited, animoso, while at the same time being large enough to contain a whole lifetime, the inconceivable gifts and losses of old age, the little princesses rattling in the back of a car, an abandoned passport, the ingredients of an invigorating winter sandwich, a sister's death, the joyful presence of the sun, its brightness measured by the darkness it casts. "Some of you will know what I mean," the poet says, by which she means, some of you will follow me. Hers is the sustaining presence, the voice containing all our lifetimes, "all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last." This magnificent book couldn't have been written by anyone else, nor could it have been written by the poet at any other time in her life.


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A New York Times Notable Book (2021) The 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück's thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient. Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrumen A New York Times Notable Book (2021) The 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück's thirteenth book is among her most haunting. Here as in the Wild Iris there is a chorus, but the speakers are entirely human, simultaneously spectral and ancient. Winter Recipes from the Collective is chamber music, an invitation into that privileged realm small enough for the individual instrument to make itself heard, dolente, its line sustained, carried, and then taken up by the next instrument, spirited, animoso, while at the same time being large enough to contain a whole lifetime, the inconceivable gifts and losses of old age, the little princesses rattling in the back of a car, an abandoned passport, the ingredients of an invigorating winter sandwich, a sister's death, the joyful presence of the sun, its brightness measured by the darkness it casts. "Some of you will know what I mean," the poet says, by which she means, some of you will follow me. Hers is the sustaining presence, the voice containing all our lifetimes, "all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last." This magnificent book couldn't have been written by anyone else, nor could it have been written by the poet at any other time in her life.

30 review for Winter Recipes from the Collective

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    This little book had all kinds of warning signals: 1. Author fresh off of a Nobel Prize for Literature (2020) 2. Top of the line publisher (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), hardcover, but only 42 pages long (er, short) 3. Money to be made before the fanfare begins to fare poorly, so let's rush this baby to press before Christmas. 4. Only 15 poems total, making it a chapbook in full poetry collection's clothing. 5. Poet + Name Recognition = a math equation seldom seen. Despite the blaring sound and spinning This little book had all kinds of warning signals: 1. Author fresh off of a Nobel Prize for Literature (2020) 2. Top of the line publisher (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), hardcover, but only 42 pages long (er, short) 3. Money to be made before the fanfare begins to fare poorly, so let's rush this baby to press before Christmas. 4. Only 15 poems total, making it a chapbook in full poetry collection's clothing. 5. Poet + Name Recognition = a math equation seldom seen. Despite the blaring sound and spinning red lights, though, I came out the other end (the journey was brief), ran back to START, and journeyed through a second time for enjoyment purposes. Will wonders never cease. Sometimes books surprise even the cynical. While the early poems, written in sections and a few pages long, read like fairy tales set in the Black Forest (Hansel, anybody? How about Gretel?), the book's cover and title signal we're far away from that. China, people. Han Shan-like. These narrative poems don't seem terribly "poetic" so much as succinct (admittedly, being chary with words is in and of itself deemed "poetic") and read like prose paragraphs divvied up into lines and stanzas. I say that because some readers will "minus" you for such. And the overriding theme is capital-D Death, anyway. Oh, wait. He doesn't do small-case d, does He? Whatever. Our umlauted author (and, for the sake of success and sales and being taken seriously, I'd like to buy an umlaut, Pat, for mine own poetic success... Ken Cräft) is "of an age" beginning to better see the dark at the end of the tunnel. Most of the middle and end poems (can something this short have a "middle" and an "end") are pithy wonders with neat finishes. In some, the poem's speaker addresses her sister, apparently a comrade in arms (the embracing arms of old age). Here, though, the speaker focuses on Mom and long life: Night Thoughts Long ago I was born. There is no one alive anymore who remembers me as a baby. Was I a good baby? A bad? Except in my head that debate is now silenced forever. What constitutes a bad baby, I wondered. Colic, my mother said, which meant it cried a lot. What harm could there be in that? How hard it was to be alive, no wonder they all died. And how small I must have been, suspended in my mother, being patted by her approvingly. What a shame I became verbal, with no connection to that memory. My mother's love! All too soon I emerged my true self, robust but sour, like an alarm clock. Inside Joke #1: "What a shame I became verbal." This from a poet of Nobel proportions and blaring alarms accompanying her new book. Inside Joke #2: If I submitted this poem to a critique group or a professor, I would have been called to task for the beginner's mistake of the line break (L4) after an orphaned indefinite pronoun ("A"). Nobel winners, fully alarmed, can do so with impunity, proving once again that the "rules" and the "experts" in poetry are full of ... oh, wait, this is a "family site"... let's go with "full of themselves," shall we? Here's another for your amusement: A Sentence Everything has ended, I said. What makes you say so, my sister asked. Because, I said, if it has not ended, it will end soon which comes to the same thing. And if that is the case, there is no point in beginning so much as a sentence. But it is not the same, my sister said, this ending soon. There is a question left. It is a foolish question, I answered. Again. Short and sweet. Almost anecdotal. Almost like a koan, with the speaker/master addressing her sister/student. Wry, too. Informed by long life and short remaining days. And again, the "no point in beginning / so much as a sentence" a bit of a writer's joke on herself. Finally, I leave you with "Autumn," a favorite image for the twilight of life. Notice how these little stanzas are haiku-like in nature, fitting the book's topic, title, and themes. It's one of my favorites in this alarming book. Autumn The part of life devoted to contemplation was at odds with the part committed to action. * Fall was approaching. But I remember it was always approaching once school ended. * Life, my sister said, is like a torch passed now from the body to the mind. Sadly, she went on, the mind is not there to receive it. * The sun was setting. Ah, the torch, she said. It has gone out, I believe. Our best hope is that it's flickering, fort/da, fort/da, like little Ernst throwing his toy over the side of his crib and then pulling it back. It's too bad, she said, there are no children here. We could learn from them, as Freud did. * We would sometimes sit on benches outside the dining room. The smell of leaves burning. Old people and fire, she said. Not a good thing They burn their houses down. * How heavy my mind is, filled with the past. Is there enough room for the world to penetrate? It must go somewhere, it cannot simply sit on the surface-- * Stars gleaming over the water. The leaves piled, waiting to be lit. * Insight, my sister said. Now it is here. But hard to see in the darkness. You must find your footing before you put your weight on it. Take those last two lines as advice for the remainders of the day, friends. And say it again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Henk

    Meditative and sometimes quite narrative. The gorgeous cover and the exciting chance to pick up something new of a Nobel laureate didn’t fully pay off in terms of final reading experience I try to comfort you but words are not the answer - Poem Louise Glück her new bundle feels particularly attuned to winter coming, with a lot of focus on family relations. A poem called The Denial of Death does plays with the difference between tourist and refugee. A Children’s Story seems to be about climate change Meditative and sometimes quite narrative. The gorgeous cover and the exciting chance to pick up something new of a Nobel laureate didn’t fully pay off in terms of final reading experience I try to comfort you but words are not the answer - Poem Louise Glück her new bundle feels particularly attuned to winter coming, with a lot of focus on family relations. A poem called The Denial of Death does plays with the difference between tourist and refugee. A Children’s Story seems to be about climate change but most poems are about family relationships, mothers, sisters and children frequently appear as subject matter or perspective. Mortality also peeps it’s head up at times, for instance: Where did you go next, after those days, where although you could not speak you were not lost? Afternoons and Early Evenings Many poems in Winter Recipes from the Collective touch more on the intimate, for instance: This is why we search for love. We search for it all of our lives, even after we find it. An Endless Story A wistful, melancholic atmosphere pervades the bundle, with musings on life spent and gone: Life, my sister said, is like a torch passed now from the body to the mind. Sadly, she went on, the mind is not there to receive it. … You must find your footing before you put your weight on it. Autumn I liked reading the bundle but was not particularly emotionally touched or impressed. Like the cover, a Chinese ink drawing, the style is understated and sparse. Ideal to spend an hour with under the blankets, but lacking the sumptuous touches one would expect in the Christmas break so to speak.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Canaan

    Yesterday I went to the local Barnes & Noble for the first time in — what is it, a year and a half? — and observed my happy tradition of reading expensive poetry collections I wouldn’t buy while standing as inconspicuously as possible (to conceal my terrible purpose) at the poetry & drama section, after throwing people off my tracks by half-seriously perusing all the other sections of books and gifts and becoming, meanwhile, intoxicated with the aroma of books and café smells. I read The Wild Yesterday I went to the local Barnes & Noble for the first time in — what is it, a year and a half? — and observed my happy tradition of reading expensive poetry collections I wouldn’t buy while standing as inconspicuously as possible (to conceal my terrible purpose) at the poetry & drama section, after throwing people off my tracks by half-seriously perusing all the other sections of books and gifts and becoming, meanwhile, intoxicated with the aroma of books and café smells. I read The Wild Iris by Glück earlier this year and loved it — loved it — and half sought out, half stood stupefied when I saw this new collection, her first since winning the Nobel in 2020. Well, collection-cum-scare-quotes — this pricey albeit gorgeous pamphlet-in-hardcover is so short — fifteen poems, forty-two pages of text — that, before I knew it, I'd read the entire thing standing there. And I was so shocked because I did not expect Glück herself to expose me, but this was so terrific, making me feel so many emotions so quickly, that I was swooning, grasping at the shelves that had hidden me for support* and ruining my careful inconspicuousness, such that I required a frothy hot chocolate afterwards to refresh and opacify my momentary aesthetic transparency. And so I learned: do not underestimate a Nobel Prize-winning poet, nor the power of a very tiny book with an adorable bird on it, indeed. *This did not literally happen. — — — — — — — — — — — — — — I felt something true had been spoken and though I would have preferred to have spoken it myself I was glad at least to have heard it. *** I could hear the clock ticking, presumably alluding to the passage of time while in fact annulling it. You must ask yourself, he said, if you deceive yourself. By which I mean looking at the watch and not the hand holding it. We stood awhile, staring at the lake, each of us thinking our own thoughts. *** a pine blowing in high wind like man in the universe. *** We make plans to walk the trails together. When, I ask him, when? Never again: that is what we do not say.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer

    This is the thirteenth collection of poetry published by the 2020 Nobel Laureate and the first after her her award. Having read all of her previous collections this year – I had to buy this from her UK publishers Carnacet as soon as available. For many of the previous books – although ultimately forming my own views I enjoyed reading critiques, interpretations and reviews by others much more familiar with poetry as a literary medium and Louise Glück as a writer than I am. Here I felt I was steppin This is the thirteenth collection of poetry published by the 2020 Nobel Laureate and the first after her her award. Having read all of her previous collections this year – I had to buy this from her UK publishers Carnacet as soon as available. For many of the previous books – although ultimately forming my own views I enjoyed reading critiques, interpretations and reviews by others much more familiar with poetry as a literary medium and Louise Glück as a writer than I am. Here I felt I was stepping slightly into the unknown – so I supsect this review will evolve over time. My overall impression is that this is a collection for Glück fans – at times perhaps surprisingly slight (it being 7 years since her previous collection) but with many of her familiar tropes and ideas refashioned (as is very much her style) to reflect her own changing station in life – in this case in perhaps the Winter of her life as she approaches 80 “The Denial of Death” (after the book by the anthropologist Ernest Becker) is a long but fascinating allegorical poem. The narrator is travelling with her friends when she misplaces her passport and ends up staying at a hotel while her friends carry on and then ends up growing old in the hotel alongside its concierge in what I think becomes a metaphor not just for ageing (when memories are perhaps more appealing and definitely more available than the world) but also for the ability of poetry and art to capture (but also possibly substitute) for experience The concierge I realized had been standing beside me Do not be sad he said. You have begun your own journey not into the world, like your friend’s, but into yourself and your memories The titular poem – another lengthy one – is another allegory – about a group of elderly men who every winter collect mosses for their wives to ferment and make recipes, and contains the line at the heart of the collection and I think Glück’s reflections on the difficulties and importance of writing for the hard and late times The book contains only recipes for winter, when life is hard. In spring anyone can make a fine meal A third lengthy and allegorical poem “An Endless Story” is about a woman telling a story in a lecture hall part way through telling a fable – with an audience member offering to finish the story and (perhaps in a metaphor for Glück’s own view of her development as a poet) seeming to imply putting aside digressions around relationships for existential poetry Clearly, he said, someone must finish the story which was, I believe, to have been a love story such as silly women tell, meaning very long, filled with tangents and distractions meant to disguise the fundamental tedium of its simplicities. But as, he said we have changed riders, we may as well change horses at the same time. Now that the tale is mine, I prefer that it be a mediation on existence But later becoming a meditation on how love is a life-long search “even after we find it” Autumn – a poem of course which anticipates the approach of winter - contains some memorable lines in ageing Life, my sister said is like a torch passed now from the body to the mind Sadly, she went on, the mind is not there to receive it And How heavy my mind is filled with the past. Is there enough room for the world to penetrate? It must go somewhere, it cannot simply sit on the surface I look forward to other reviews.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    Pensive and filled with nostalgic longing

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    How heavy my mind is, filled with the past. Is there enough room for the world to penetrate? It must go somewhere, it cannot simply sit on the surface— These verses are more social than the previous collection. I believe I preferred the solitude of those, one mind thinking/processing amidst nature. These are more dialogues of meaning, exchanges to weather the passing of time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    "And the world goes by, all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last." "And the world goes by, all the worlds, each more beautiful than the last."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lawrence

    If anyone worried that winning literature's most prestigious prize would in any way lend some rose-colored tint to Glück, rest assured she maintains her uncompromising belief that "Despair is the truth." That said, in the face of old age and certain death, "second wind" moments of fleeting joy and imagination still seem capable to genuinely surprise Glück and (for me, at least) her readers as well. If anyone worried that winning literature's most prestigious prize would in any way lend some rose-colored tint to Glück, rest assured she maintains her uncompromising belief that "Despair is the truth." That said, in the face of old age and certain death, "second wind" moments of fleeting joy and imagination still seem capable to genuinely surprise Glück and (for me, at least) her readers as well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    sage short

    ok this was so fucking good. first time i ever read louise glück and im obsessed officially

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jules Kelly

    We stood a while in silence, staring at it together. Outside the sun was stetting, the sort of pointed symmetry I have always noticed. we are lucky to live in a world with Louise Glück

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Duke

    4.5 Took photos of almost all the poems in the library copy from which I read. Read at least a third of them out loud to my uninterested yet still, on some level, no matter how minorly, moved mother. Superbly beautiful works on loss, aging, the value of narrative vs. universalized philosophical writing (aka Glück's reflexive consideration of the value of her own work), aesthetic achievement, failure, etc. She consistently makes me feel something. 4.5 Took photos of almost all the poems in the library copy from which I read. Read at least a third of them out loud to my uninterested yet still, on some level, no matter how minorly, moved mother. Superbly beautiful works on loss, aging, the value of narrative vs. universalized philosophical writing (aka Glück's reflexive consideration of the value of her own work), aesthetic achievement, failure, etc. She consistently makes me feel something.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cory

    Wow. I haven't read very much Glück, but I have loved what I read so far, and these poems are some of the finest of her work that I've read. I haven't done a very good job at disguising my melancholy lately, and I'm currently finding much in these poems that speak to that part of my person in the current time. While there are no misses in this very brief (fifteen poems) collection, I have a few favorites to give some notes on. "The Denial of Death," where we not only see a great depiction of pro Wow. I haven't read very much Glück, but I have loved what I read so far, and these poems are some of the finest of her work that I've read. I haven't done a very good job at disguising my melancholy lately, and I'm currently finding much in these poems that speak to that part of my person in the current time. While there are no misses in this very brief (fifteen poems) collection, I have a few favorites to give some notes on. "The Denial of Death," where we not only see a great depiction of processing grief, but also how long it can stick around, and how those close to us maybe spoke the most to me at least early on. I notice that entropy and nihilism can be common themes in Glück's later writing, and "Autumn" and "A Sentence" portray those themes superbly. Lastly, in "A Memory," Glück portrays depression very candidly: "A sickness came over me/whose origins were never determined/though it became more and more difficult/to sustain the pretense of normalcy,/of good health or joy in existence—" That is maybe the most apt description of the onset of depression I've maybe ever read. Those are just a few notes, but every work in this collection carries a similar gravitas. This work was very worth the steep price to length ratio, and I hope others will read it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rareș Călugăr

    Leo Cruz makes the most beautiful white bowls; I think I must get some to you but how is the question in these times He is teaching me the names of the desert grasses; I have a book since to see the grasses is impossible Leo thinks the things man makes are more beautiful than what exists in nature and I say no. And Leo says wait and see. We make plans to walk the trails together. When, I ask him, when? Never again: that is what we do not say. He is teaching me to live in imagination: a cold wind blows as I cross the Leo Cruz makes the most beautiful white bowls; I think I must get some to you but how is the question in these times He is teaching me the names of the desert grasses; I have a book since to see the grasses is impossible Leo thinks the things man makes are more beautiful than what exists in nature and I say no. And Leo says wait and see. We make plans to walk the trails together. When, I ask him, when? Never again: that is what we do not say. He is teaching me to live in imagination: a cold wind blows as I cross the desert; I can see his house in the distance; smoke is coming from the chimney That is the kiln, I think; only Leo makes porcelain in the desert Ah, he says, you are dreaming again And I say then I’m glad I dream the fire is still alive

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Poems about aging and nature. Very short book but vivid imagery.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

    Wherever you are in life, you need to read these poems. I feel like my soul has been peered into, and bathed in hope. She speaks so often of returning to where hope was lost to find it again, and of recognizing trauma, that we might experience healing. Winter will not last forever, but as a season it can bring its own joys, and unique love. I might read this book everyday until spring comes back (it's a very short book). Wherever you are in life, you need to read these poems. I feel like my soul has been peered into, and bathed in hope. She speaks so often of returning to where hope was lost to find it again, and of recognizing trauma, that we might experience healing. Winter will not last forever, but as a season it can bring its own joys, and unique love. I might read this book everyday until spring comes back (it's a very short book).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Good writing but not nearly as good as Wild Iris and Faithful and Virtuous Night. It has to be hard to follow up those two masterpieces. The precision of language and use of symbolic thoughts and ideas Gluck is known for were simply missing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    She’s back! I love Glück, but found myself underwhelmed by Faithful and Virtuous Night. This is the strongest collection of work she has published in years, thinking back to what I remember of her collected poems and how I felt they dwindled towards the end. This collection is sparse and beautiful. A favorite line: The book contains only recipes for winter, when life is hard. In spring, Anyone can make a fine meal.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Don Wentworth

    Following on the tenor of her most recent publications, Louise Glück's latest volume, Winter Recipes From The Collective, is a lyrical, fragmentary narrative 'sequence' that has a slightly surreal quality about it. The narrative feel follows an elderly woman and her sister as they navigate the quiet distancing from life that aging, in life's final stages, inevitably brings. If it may be described as 'autobiographical', it is not in the strictest sense autobiography of the narrative characters alon Following on the tenor of her most recent publications, Louise Glück's latest volume, Winter Recipes From The Collective, is a lyrical, fragmentary narrative 'sequence' that has a slightly surreal quality about it. The narrative feel follows an elderly woman and her sister as they navigate the quiet distancing from life that aging, in life's final stages, inevitably brings. If it may be described as 'autobiographical', it is not in the strictest sense autobiography of the narrative characters alone but a lyrical autobiography of a generation that has come of age, grown both up and old, with the poetry of Glück. Perhaps to circumscribe this work's audience as such is a bit too narrow. Then again, this is poetry ... and poetry of a particular sort. Still, this is the latest work of the 2020 Nobel Laureate. What might the extended audience that notoriety will bring think of that? Well, let's let that go. This certainly is a book for fans of the poet, a missive, if you will, from an elderly friend describing the state of the state. As it were. Or as it is. Or as it will be. To do the collection justice, and to do yourself the same, if you know little of the poet, begin at the beginning with Firstborn, 1968, the work of a twenty-six year old newcomer, and work your way up to this latest, 52 years later, by a still gritty, well-seasoned veteran. 52 years later. Now. Be in that moment or, more expansively, that succession of frozen moments that are the oeuvre. Know what it is to know, to sense, to feel the work of one of a handful of the finest poets of those all-encompassing 52 years. If you are a poetry reader, buck up. Not only will you not be disappointed, you will be changed. I was. I am.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    beautiful. not only the poems themselves, but the way they link to each other, and progress, and the way the book (pamphlet?) comes together as a whole. leaves, trees, sisters, night, "you," "we," "downward," death, speaking/not speaking, old age... some favorite quotes: "You have begun your own journey, not into the world, like your friend's, but into yourself and your memories. As they fall away, perhaps you will attain that enviable emptiness into which all things flow, like the empty cup in the beautiful. not only the poems themselves, but the way they link to each other, and progress, and the way the book (pamphlet?) comes together as a whole. leaves, trees, sisters, night, "you," "we," "downward," death, speaking/not speaking, old age... some favorite quotes: "You have begun your own journey, not into the world, like your friend's, but into yourself and your memories. As they fall away, perhaps you will attain that enviable emptiness into which all things flow, like the empty cup in the Daodejing" "You must ask yourself, he said, if you deceive yourself. By which I mean looking at the watch and not the hand holding it." "How heavy my mind is, filled with the past. Is there enough room for the world to penetrate? It must go somewhere, it cannot simply sit on the surface-" "If only I'd known, he said, the effect of words. Do you see how this thing has acquired weight and importance since I spoke?" "I was very young. Many things had happened but nothing had happened repeatedly, which makes a difference." "All too soon I emerged my true self, robust but sour, like an alarm clock." "We make plans to walk the trails together. When, I ask him, when? Never again: that is what we do not say. He is teaching me to live in imagination" anyway, I put a sticky note on my alarm clock that says "robust but sour" so I don't feel so awful when it goes off in the morning. thanks Ms. Glück.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hykes

    Another outstanding read from Louise Gluck! If you are already a fan of Louise Gluck, you know that as she matures, so do the topics and themes of her writing. This book is full of conversations about the experience of time, attachment and loss, and looking back with the new eyes of maturity. There are lots of turns and quirks and insights arising in ordinary interactions and this author has captured several. A wonderful read that feels like another chapter of a book that started some time ago an Another outstanding read from Louise Gluck! If you are already a fan of Louise Gluck, you know that as she matures, so do the topics and themes of her writing. This book is full of conversations about the experience of time, attachment and loss, and looking back with the new eyes of maturity. There are lots of turns and quirks and insights arising in ordinary interactions and this author has captured several. A wonderful read that feels like another chapter of a book that started some time ago and is coming to us serially.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Wolfe

    This is the second collection of poems by Louise Glück I've read and it was as moving and chilling as the first. There is something really beautiful about the way she handles sadness and darkness, especially within relationship both familial and romantic. She has a way of getting at the heart of a painful experience that doesn't necessarily take the pain away, but makes it more manageable. I really loved sinking my teeth into these poems, as heart-wrenching as some of them might be. She is a mas This is the second collection of poems by Louise Glück I've read and it was as moving and chilling as the first. There is something really beautiful about the way she handles sadness and darkness, especially within relationship both familial and romantic. She has a way of getting at the heart of a painful experience that doesn't necessarily take the pain away, but makes it more manageable. I really loved sinking my teeth into these poems, as heart-wrenching as some of them might be. She is a master, without question.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    “We make plans to walk the trails together. When, I ask him, when? Never again: that is what we do not say.” This slim tome is tinged with grief and loss and is written from the perspective of someone who has the luxury and heartbreak to be able to look back on their life. Someone somewhat omniscient, looking back from a distance, but also deeply and personally immersed in this life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    There are few poets as vivid yet sparse yet illuminating as this. As usual this collection is filled with pensive stories where certain lines stick out and hit you in the heart. I loved this slim, beautiful collection

  24. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Source: Troy Jollimore’s review in the Washington Post (Nov 4, 2021). “The poems are elegiac, brooding and death obsessed ….. ghosts looking backward with regret and forward with trepidation”. Words from a person named Jollimore. Fascinated. Must read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Smart

    I find it hard to review poetry collections, especially one as short as this, but I enjoyed it! I’ve loved Louise Glück a long time and while this wasn’t my favorite of hers, it was worth the read to me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    This short, sparse, beautiful book addresses unflinchingly themes of aging and ending, meaning and meaninglessness. Though the language is simple and straightforward, it bears much rereading, which I will be doing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    from "Song": Leo thinks the things man makes are more beautiful than what exists in nature and I say no. And Leo says wait and see from "Song": Leo thinks the things man makes are more beautiful than what exists in nature and I say no. And Leo says wait and see

  28. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    So many echoes of her own canon in this collection, in a beautiful, reflective way. lovely.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aldora H.A.

    So beautifully written.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Beautiful

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