Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Village Life: Poems, Louise Gluck

It has been at least five years since I last read a collection of Gluck's poetry. I may have been that English Literature cliche. So it is odd to return to poetry so matter of factly. I have read a few collections over the past few years. Random new poets and recent releases of favorite poets. There was a time I really admired Gluck's honesty. The sense of writer/poet self in so much of her voice.

In A Village Life I feel much of Gluck is removed. We're faced with the infamous stuff of poetry- life and death. The strongest poems in this collection deal with the life and death cycle of nature. The weakest are focused on the life cycle of the living: love, youth, family, life, etc.

The three strongest poems in the collection are named "Burning Leaves" (there are a handful of poems containing the same title throughout the collection). The subject of these poems, the life and the death, are strongly portrayed through nature and humans. The literary theme of man vs nature is stripped and the fight is removed. The same struggle of survival is revealed..."So it's finished for another year,/death making room for life" (26).


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