The Wild Iris

The Wild Iris

Book - 1992
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"The Wild Iris was written during a ten-week period in the summer of 1991. Louise Cluck's first four collections consistently returned to the natural world, to the classical and biblical narratives that arose to explain the phenomena of this world, to provide meaning and to console. Ararat, her fifth book, offered a substitution for the received: a demotic, particularized myth of contemporary family. Now in The Wild Iris, her most important and accomplished collection to date, ecstatic imagination supplants both empiricism and tradition, creating an impassioned polyphonic exchange among the god who "disclose[s]/virtually nothing," human beings who "leave/signs of feeling/everywhere," and a garden where "whatever/returns from oblivion returns/ to find a voice." The poems of this sequence see beyond mortality, the bitter discovery on which individuality depends. "To be one thing/is to be next to nothing," Cluck challenges the reader. "Is it enough/only to look inward?"" "A major poet redefines her task--its thematic obsessions, its stylistic signature--with each volume. Visionary, shrewd, intuitive--and at once cyclical and apocalyptic--The Wild Iris is not a repudiation but a confirmation, an audacious feat of psychic ventriloquism, a fiercely original record of the spirit's obsession with, and awe of, earth."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Publisher: New York : Ecco Press, c1992.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780880012812
Characteristics: ix, 63 p. ; 24 cm.


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Jul 10, 2018

Louise Gluck is a poet to follow from book to book. This a relatively earlier book by here that I just finally got a copy of. Careful, honest, brave, elegant, revealing are some of the words that come to mind. This volume is unified around what grows in a garden and a yard. At times it even seems she is talking to the flowers, but more it feels she is addressing someone with whom she is in an intense, at times problematic relationship. For instance, in"The Wild Rose":
"I am not like you, I have only
my body for a voice; I can't
disappear into silence"
And then the poem closes:
"as though you were making a sign after all...
to show me you are not the light I called to
but the blackness behind it."
Whether this is an introduction to the poet, or taking a look back at her earlier work, many of these poems will in a very honest way reach into your relations with nature and those close to you.

Dec 06, 2007

Winner of the 1993 Pulitzer prize for poetry.


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