- Hardcover: 80 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374283745
- ISBN-13: 978-0374283742
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Village Life: Poems 1st Edition
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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.)
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“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
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