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A Village Life
ISBN: 978 1 847770 59 2
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2010
216 x 135 x 5 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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.
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 '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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