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Poetry in Person: Louise Gluck
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Author:  Saffron [ Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Poetry in Person: Louise Gluck

This thread is to discuss chapter 5: Louise Gluck Feb. 28, 1979.

Author:  GaryG48 [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Poetry in Person: Louise Gluck

P. 46 – “Louise Gluck (is) one of the most influential American poets of her generation.”

Which is my generation and this is the first time I have heard of her. Shame on me!

P. 50 – “… there are at least two approaches to poetry: Poetry that encounters phenomena and then places them in context; sees the historical reverberation of the present tense; and then there is poetry that encounters the world as though for the first time; so that as in Dickenson, you have that feeling that grass was never seen before, that relationships are perceived as they play out or fail to play out not earlier conceptions of what those relationships should be; they’re perceived with no prior information at all.”

This idea is new to me but it makes a lot of sense. Dickenson‘s poems do stand on their own and Milton’s assume a lot of prior knowledge by the reader.

P 63 - “We write what we love to read.”

I think Gluck is talking about style rather than substance. We write sonnets because we love to read sonnets rather than we write about nature because we love to read about nature.

P 64 – “… that review had a great deal to do with shaping the book that followed.”

I find this statement troubling. She seems to be saying works of art are shaped by critics. I would have said that is only true for mediocre artists. One of the excuses for the persistance of pomo in North America, after Europe seems to have moved on, is that critics have too much sway in determining taste.

P 65 – “I think there should be simple sentences from time to time. Sentences that are clear communicative, and unshadowed.”

Yes, such sentences give the reader a break, clarify the poem as it exists so far, and make what came before and what will come after more coherent.

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