By Louise Glück
A Village existence, Louise Glück's 11th number of poems, starts within the topography of a village, a Mediterranean international of no certain second or place:
All the roads within the village unite on the fountain.
Avenue of Liberty, street of the Acacia Trees—
The fountain rises on the middle of the plaza;
on sunny days, rainbows within the piss of the cherub.
Around the fountain are concentric circles of figures, prepared by way of age and in levels of distance: fields, a river, and, just like the fountain's contrary, a mountain. Human time superimposed on geologic time, all taken in at a look, with none undue sensation of pace.
Glück has been referred to as a lyrical and dramatic poet; because Ararat, she has formed her austere intensities into book-length sequences. right here, for the 1st time, she speaks as "the kind of describing, supervising intelligence present in novels instead of poetry," as Langdon Hammer has written of her lengthy lines—expansive, fluent, and full—manifesting a relaxed omniscience. whereas Glück's demeanour is novelistic, she focuses no longer on motion yet on pauses and durations, moments of suspension (rather than suspense), in a dreamlike current annoying within which poetic hypothesis and mirrored image are attainable.
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Extra info for A Village Life
A cluster of six in miniature sprouted only yesterday. I wonder if the rain has any bearing on their size. They are so delicate, those small ones, and apparently quite attentive! I merely observe, go out there and catch up with any that might have planted themselves in the dark by stealth. I have finally come to accept them, even more than that, enjoy them. They are company for me, you know. They make me feel interesting. 44 SCHUYKILL WEATHER With the air sagging from its fastenings all around you, and your head sticking up there to prop it, there is no chance for your knees at all.
61 They burnt the certificate that made that real, and lie about it brazenly in air conditioned buses. Home can be anywhere at all, they say, even on Staten Island, and they mean it. 62 SOME DAY A SUDDEN CRAVING Old blood goes bad. Only freshly siphoned blood leaks new life into veins, and so, at the weekend he comes home with bottled refuse blood to feed the roses: white, with no blush rising. Innocence of Borgia, the Pontiff's kin; thorns tucked away in thicket leaves. Beguiling kitten roses.
48 SO THERE, DESCARTES! I have had all the time in the universe to examine that table, the rug, the chair, and still I am not convinced of his departure. But he has disappeared. He took his feet away when he removed his head, shirt, tie and coat; everything he was above the table. Maybe he left his feet in front of the door of his top floor room. I shall waste no time in climbing all those stairs to see. He should be behind that unreplenished cup. An obstinate fold of his overcoat laps down darkly at the side of his chair.
A Village Life by Louise Glück