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In an earlier set of poems, The Garden, Gluck retold the myth of Eden; in this sequence it is clear that paradise has been lost, and the poet, Eve-like, struggles to make sense of her place in the universe. For this old and still post-modern theme, Gluck bravely takes the risk of adopting a highly symbolic structure. She uses the conceit of parallel discourses between the flowers of a garden and the gardener (the poet), and between the gardener/poet and an unnamed god. The reader shares the poet's human predicament of being caught between these material and spiritual worlds, each lush and musical, drawing inspiration from both: from the flowers, a hymn to communality; from the god, a universal view of human suffering. The collection was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
The award-winning author of The Triumph of Achilles looks here at relations between heaven and earth. More than half of the poems address an "unreachable father," or are spoken in a voice meant to be his: "Your souls should have been immense by now, / not what they are, / small talking things . . . This ambitious and original work consists of a series of "matins," "vespers," poems about flowers, and others about the seasons or times of day, carrying forward a dialogue between the human and divine. This is poetry of great beauty, where lamentation, doubt and praise show us a god who can blast or console, but who too often leaves us alone; Gluck, then, wishes to understand a world where peace "rushes through me, / . . . like bright light through the bare tree." Only rarely (in "The Doorway," for example) does the writing fail. But when dialogue melds with lyricism, the result is splendid. In "Violets" the speaker tells her "dear / suffering master": "you / are no more lost / than we are, under / the hawthorn tree, the hawthorn holding / balanced trays of pearls." This important book has a powerful, muted strangeness.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The works at first appear dark and daunting, after some contemplation one sees life in a new light, of hope, and connection, renewal, and rebirth! Louise Gluck speaks to us all!Published on Oct. 28 2003
The Wild Iris has garnered much praise but its poetry is precious and pretentious. Gluck has been one of the most over-praised poets in America. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2002
One of the best books of poetry I've ever read. Each time I pick it up I am newly astounded at the elegance and beauitfully contained passion of these poems. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2000 by N. Dethloff
This book is amazing and well-deserving of the Pulitzer Prize it received. If you enjoyed "The Meadowlands" or are a fan of Gluck in general, then you will find... Read morePublished on May 5 2000
Iris is an elegant and noble flower even if it is a wild one.Ms. Glück sends us flowers of pain, love and dream.They come in thin bundles but mean so much...Published on Dec 1 1999
I loved this book! I picked this collection of transcendant poems while a senior in high school and was enthralled with its poignancy. Read morePublished on June 3 1999
The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck is an intriguing collection of poems centered around life forms which seem to be present in her garden. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 1998