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A Village Life
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. May 2010)
Around the fountain, there are clusters of metal tables.
this is where you sit when you're old,
beyond the intensities of the fountain.
The fountain is for the young, who still want to look at themselves.
Or for the mothers, who need to keep their children diverted.
In good weather, a few old people linger at the tables.
Life is simple now: one day cognac, one day coffee and a cigarette.
To the couples, it's clear who's on the outskirts of life, who's at the center.
Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020
From a fountain where 'all the roads in the village unite', concentric circles expand into the distance: the young and old, fields, a river, a mountain – the fountain's stone counterpart, where the roads end, human time superimposed on geological time. Renowned as a lyrical poet of austere intensity, in A Village Life Louise Glück evokes a Mediterranean world with luminous precision. Her focus is on moments of speculation and reflection in a dreamlike present tense.
Cover image: Print by unknown artist, c. 1930, from the Robert O. Muller collection. Cover design: StephenRaw.com
Before the Storm
In the Café
In the Plaza
At the River
Walking at Night
Via delle Ombre
A Slip of Paper
A Night in Spring
At the dance
A Warm Day
A Village Life
Awards won by Louise Glück Short-listed, 2014 Forward Prize for Best Collection (Faithful and Virtuous Night) Short-listed, 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize (Faithful and Virtuous Night) Winner, 1993 Pulitzer Prize (The Wild Iris)
Praise for Louise Glück 'Gluck's essays are delicate, tactful, self-aware and wry; her sense of humour is so understated that you might miss it if you think of her solely as a poet of tenacity and autumnal smokiness... Reading American Originality alongside her first essay collection, Proofs and Theories (1994), a portrait emerges of a wilful, embattled child who earned her stern serenity not only through loss but also through that miraculous state of grace that poetry can provide'
Ange Mlinko, Literary Review
'In this collection of sharply focussed and insightful essays one unifying theme emerges. Despite all the fads and fashions, the dead ends and new waves of poetry one thing survives, and that as she so vividly reminds us, is poetry'
Roger Bloor, The Alchemy Spoon
'Her writing's emotional and rhetorical intensity are beyond dispute. Not once in six books has she wavered from a formal seriousness, an unhurried sense of control and a starkness of expression that, like a scalpel, slices the mist dwelling between hope and pain.'
Washington Post 'Gluck stands at the centre of time and speaks, not with raw emotion or linguistic abandon, but with the ageless urgency of questions about the soul.'
Partisan Review 'Characteristically sure-footed, Glück speaks to our time in a voice that is onstage, but heard from the wings.'
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