All posts tagged: Louise Glück

The Books Briefing: Louise Glück Wrote With Authority

The Books Briefing: Louise Glück Wrote With Authority

This is an edition of the revamped Books Briefing, our editors’ weekly guide to the best in books. Sign up for it here. Last week, Louise Glück, one of America’s most celebrated poets, died at the age of 80. Glück was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama; she won a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, and, three years before her death, the Nobel Prize in Literature (she was the first American poet to receive it since T. S. Eliot in 1948). She published widely, especially in The New Yorker; The Atlantic also published two of her poems, “Early December in Croton-on-Hudson” and “The Edge.” First, here are four new stories from The Atlantic’s Books section: When I heard about Glück’s death, what came to mind immediately were her famous lines “At the end of my suffering / there was a door”—the frank, breathtaking opening to “The Wild Iris,” the first poem in her collection of the same name. Then I read some of the lines my colleague Walt Hunter quoted in …

Louise Glück Saw the World Like a Fairy Tale

Louise Glück Saw the World Like a Fairy Tale

Louise Glück, the American poet and Nobel laureate who died last week, was repeatedly drawn to stories about families. Her last published book was a short novel about twins in their first year, Marigold and Rose. And children appear throughout her 1975 book, The House on Marshland, in which she developed her instantly recognizable intimate voice. By placing children and mothers, in particular, at the center of her poems, Glück explored a world made of equal parts myth and reality, sketched out by her precise, timeless language. When I learned that Glück had died, I found myself drawn first to “The School Children,” which begins with a trip to school: The children set forth with their little satchels And then switches to the home: And all morning the mothers have labored To gather the late apples, red and gold, Like words of another language. Glück places us in a familiar setting—almost like a picture book—but the somewhat formal language of the poem (“set forth,” “have labored/to gather”) introduces a degree of unease, as if we’re …