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The Seven Ages Paperback – Bargain Price, March 26, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In a perfect world, people would be shot for less, and organ procurement teams notified.
Glück strips. She prefers elemental language---hers is a hard-body and athletic poetry---but her sparsity never short-changes emotional impact, borealistic or far subtler. To wit, from "Youth;"
"My sister and I at two ends of the sofa,
reading (I suppose) English novels.
The television on; various schoolbooks open,
or places marked with sheets of lined paper.
Euclid, Pythagoras. As though we had looked into
the origin of thought and preferred novels."
Her subject matter, if not the whole of the world and us in it, frequently takes the form of love---real love, passionate love, the opiate kind come riding zephyrs, powerful enough to border hystericism, such is its biological power. This focus also includes at times the unhappy aftermath, such as is found in "The Balcony":
"It was a night like this, at the end of summer.
We had rented, I remember, a room with a balcony.
How many days and nights? Five, perhaps-no more.
Even when we weren't touching we were making love.
We stood on our little balcony in the summer night.
And off somewhere, the sounds of human life.
We were the soon to be anointed monarchs,
well disposed to our subjects. Just beneath us,
sounds of a radio playing, an aria we didn't in those years know.
Someone dying of love. Someone from whom time had taken
the only happiness, who was alone now,
impoverished, without beauty.Read more ›
The moments that she chooses to reflect on are ordinary ones, though they are invested with enormous power and significance. These include standing in her grandmother's kitchen, watching her make a fruit punch, "aroma of summer fruit, intensity of concentration: the colored liquid turning gradually lighter more radiant, more light passing through it. Delight, then solace." A moment like this is turned into a transcendent meditation where "the self disappears into it or inseparable from it, somehow suspended, floating, its needs fully exposed, awakened, fully alive." (The Sensual World). In "Eros," she writes, "I had drawn my chair to the hotel window, to watch the rain. I was in a kind of dream or trace--in love, and yet I wanted nothing." To read this poetry is to enter into meditation with the poet, utterly absorbed in the present, lost in the simplest objects--rain, wind, a flower petal, light, to become a mind utterly sated by the grandeur of existence.
This hunger to know the moment, to pursue eternity in every breath, is heightened with the realization of impending death. Even though the mind wants to live and relive all its exultations, "The body continues like the path of an arrow as it has to, to live.Read more ›
Readers have to slow down to read Louise Gluck to enjoy how the poet inserts pauses and controls the rhythm of her works, therefore focusing on the key element on each line, be it a verb, a noun, or even a punctuation mark. This is what I fall in love with her poetry after reading A Village Life, her latest full-length collection. I could allow myself some quiet time and be guided by her craft and wisdom.
The first half of the book contains many strong pieces, while a few in the second half (which I less like) are a bit convoluted or could further be tightened in my personal views. Yet, just reading how Gluck opens her poems and the way she jungles simple poetic diction is enlightening. My favorite examples from The Seven Ages include:
"I even loved a few times in my disgusting human way / and like everyone I called that accomplishment" ("The Seven Ages")
"And from out of nowhere lovers came, / people who still had bodies and hearts. Who still had / arms, legs, mouths, although by day they might be / housewives and businessmen." ("Moonbeam")
"Familiar, recognizable, but much more deeply alone, more despondent. / She does not, in her view, meet the definition / of child, a person with everything to look forward to." ("Birthday")
"We had only a few days, but they were very long." ("The Destination")
"Even when we weren't touching we were making love." ("The Balcony")
"Sickness, gray rain. The dogs slept through it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Let's break this down. Louise Gluck's reputation precedes her poetry, so much so that I persuaded myself into buying this book, sayiing "It must be good. Read morePublished on May 18, 2009 by Natalie Rell
Louise Glück's 2001 poetry collection The Seven Ages features the style readers have come to expect from her: a somewhat simple writing style, a confessional style, and a... Read morePublished on April 27, 2008 by Sheena Allen
I know Gluck has won all kinds of awards and honors, but to be honest, I found this collection to be mediocre (though her poem "Youth" is pretty good). Read morePublished on December 28, 2004 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Salient in this book is Louise Gluck's absolute brilliant mastery of every aspect of poetry. She said somewhere that this was her weirdest book yet. Read morePublished on April 23, 2003 by I X Key
Louise Gluck has quietly become one of our greatest poets, building an impressive, meticulous body of work since the mid-1970s. Read morePublished on February 6, 2002 by wordtron
Louise Gluck's latest collection of poems reveal a new cadence to her voice.There is a directness of speech and lack of opacity which is new to her work. Read morePublished on July 22, 2001 by Alan Rosenfelder
Louise Gluck never backs off--she takes risks. Rather than stay on the safe, "winner's" path, she veers, speeds, slows down, makes the curves--each book a little... Read morePublished on June 10, 2001