Buy New
$20.32
Qty:1
  • List Price: $23.00
  • Save: $2.68 (12%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Monday, April 21? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Village Life: Poems Hardcover


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.32
$4.24 $1.69 $10.00

Frequently Bought Together

A Village Life: Poems + Wild Iris
Price for both: $32.31

Buy the selected items together
  • Wild Iris $11.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374283745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374283742
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Pulitzer Prize–winner Glück's 11th collection is set in an unidentified rural hill town somewhere in the Mediterranean. Less narrative than it is impressionistic, the book takes its undulating shape from natural cycles—the obvious but nonetheless awesome impact of days and seasons changing. Glück has shown herself to be an astute, heartbreaking and often funny observer of everyday violence. In poems like At the River and Marriage, she tracks life's messy movement from innocence and curiosity through lust, loss, anger and resignation. However, the relationships she studies are as much to the land—with its single, looming mountain, worked fields and increasingly dried-up river—as between individuals. Glück's achievement in this collection is to show, through the exigencies of the place she has chosen, how interpersonal relationships are formed, shaped and broken by the particular landscape in which they unfurl. Though the poems are intimate and deeply sympathetic, there remains the suggestion of a distance between Glück and the village life she writes about. When she declaims, No one really understands/ the savagery of this place, it feels as though she is speaking less about her chosen subjects than about herself. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for A Village Life

“Though it resembles her others least, A Village Life may come to be seen as Glück’s most beautiful and moving book so far . . . [It] shows a ripening of Glück’s genius, her mastery for depicting the things of this earth . . . [and] can be seen as the work of a master poet who has done what many poets long to do: she has written about death immortally.” —Adam Fitzgerald, Rain Taxi

 

A Village Life magnificently extends the landscapes, the harmonics, and the dramatis personae of Averno . . . More than any of Glück’s previous volumes, A Village Life has a generous heart, a large spiritual scope in which to imagine the lives of others.” —Rosanna Warren, The New Republic

 

“Not many poets can be electrifying while keeping the stakes this hypothermically low. Glück is a master, finely calibrating the shocks and their intervals. This collection, her 11th, is frightening the way a living statue would be frightening if it were to smile at you.” —Dana Goodyear, Los Angeles Times

 

“Here is a poet at the unmistakable peak of her expressive power and experience . . . The characters in A Village Life do what the voice tells them. ‘It says forget, you forget. / It says begin again, you begin again.’ Louise Glück begins again, unforgettably, in this profound new collection of poems.” —Carol Muske-Dukes, Huffington Post

 

“This 11th book of verse by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück offers beautiful language with a sense of loss and disappointment . . . The poems in A Village Life combine the intensity of her early work and the longer lines and insight of more recent books. The writing is often hauntingly beautiful . . . There are stanzas where Glück makes her landscape seem so radiant or exquisite that you don’t want to turn the page.” —Elizabeth Lund, Christian Science Monitor

 

“Like Cavafy’s persona pieces, the real subject of these poems is often a particular mood, not the transmission of details that distinguish, say, a child’s voice from a farmer’s . . . Glück lets us hear the silence that follows in the confessional. In my favorite poems in A Village Life, she also shows us what one who has heard that silence can now say.” —Zach Savich, Kenyon Review

 

“Louise Glück is one of America’s most famous poets, and one of the best . . . The fictions here are really a pretext for Glück to stage poems that explore, for the first time, material that is neither explicitly her own biography nor that of her mythical stand-ins. Always at the mercy of the Greek gods that inspired her earlier poems, Glück now is playing God herself.” —Morgan Teicher, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Derek Emerson on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Louise Gluck's A Village Life will continue Gluck's leading role in American poetry, although it presents a more narrative style than her earlier work. We are presented with a unnamed, vaguely Mediterranean setting in an unclear time. In other words, the focus here is on the people.

The theme is familiar, but Gluck's presentation is unique. Here people, you and old, are faced with the reality that life moves forward whether they are ready or not. Indeed, our own choices may move the direction slightly, but finding our ultimate destination is clearly something we do not control. While we expect this in the older people facing death, Gluck knows that such experiences are not lost on the youth.

In "Noon" we find the tale of a "boy and girl" heading out into the meadow where they talk and picnic.

The rest--how two people can lie down on the blanket--
they know about it but they're not ready for it.
They know people who've done it, as a kind of game or trial--
then they say, no, wrong time, I think I'll just keep being a child.

But your body doesn't listen. It knows everything know,
it says you're not a child, you haven't been a child for a long time.

As the poems move on we see that many of these youth listen to their bodies and find their life now laid out for them. Some go away and come back, but they only suffer more.

To my mind, you're better off if you stay;
that way, dreams don't damage you.

This theme of longing for what we cannot have continues with age.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who grew to love Gluck's spare, razor-sharp and unsparing style, I was initially disappointed when I read the last poem in this book in The New Yorker well before its release. She seemed to have kept the attention to expansion and length from Averno but it seemed so literal, especially from her and to follow from the (sometimes odd and off-putting) abstractions of Averno.

Once I started reading from the beginning, though, its purpose was clear. It is a more literal-minded book than any she's written before but it is full of the exacting, unflinching observations that made her famous. As someone who loves to see a great poet evolve and produce masterpieces throughout his or her career, I can say that this book has now tied with The Wild Iris and Meadowlands as one of my three favorites.

Read it in sequence. It's the strongest single book of hers in a long time and one of the most accessible recent books of poetry that I have encountered.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Wagemakers on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My first ever book of Louise Glück ... and I knew the moment I read it that it will not be my last! I wish she would schedule a trip to The Netherlands and conduct some master classes here, if that is what you call them. By reading her work, I am further inspired to improve my own.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey C. Mendenhall on June 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A truly evocative, yet restrained series of images in the life of a village, one that the poet clearly cares for, even is within. The strongest
poem for me was/is "A Corridor", which speaks to the humanity and tragedy of alcoholism: the daily hope, and daily despair, deeply embedded in a family, and a village.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By tanka_oz on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent poetry from a master. Really loved her command of the English language in these longer poems. Brilliantly written and hard to put down
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa4e702c4)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?