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Averno: Poems

Averno: Poems


Averno: Poems

ratings:
4/5 (33 ratings)
Length:
85 pages
41 minutes
Released:
Jul 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781466875593
Format:
Book

Description

A ravishing collection by Louise Glück, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Averno is a small crater lake in southern , regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld. That place gives its name to Louise Glück's eleventh collection: in a landscape turned irretrievably to winter, it is the only source of heat and light, a gate or passageway that invites traffic between worlds while at the same time opposing their reconciliation. Averno is an extended lamentation, its long, restless poems no less spellbinding for being without plot or hope, no less ravishing for being savage, grief-stricken. What Averno provides is not a map to a point of arrival or departure, but a diagram of where we are, the harrowing, enduring presence.
Averno is a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry.

Released:
Jul 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781466875593
Format:
Book

About the author

Louise Glück is the author of more than a dozen books of poems and essay collections. Her many awards include the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, the 2015 National Humanities Medal, the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris, the 2014 National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night, the 1985 National Book Critics Circle Award for The Triumph of Achilles, the 2001 Bollingen Prize, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poems: 1962-2012, and the 2008 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and Stanford University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Book Preview

Averno - Louise Glück

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Contents

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

DEDICATION

EPIGRAPH

THE NIGHT MIGRATIONS

I

OCTOBER

PERSEPHONE THE WANDERER

PRISM

CRATER LAKE

ECHOES

FUGUE

II

THE EVENING STAR

LANDSCAPE

A MYTH OF INNOCENCE

ARCHAIC FRAGMENT

BLUE ROTUNDA

A MYTH OF DEVOTION

AVERNO

OMENS

TELESCOPE

THRUSH

PERSEPHONE THE WANDERER

ALSO BY LOUISE GLÜCK

COPYRIGHT

for Noah

Averno. Ancient name Avernus. A small crater lake, ten miles west of Naples, Italy; regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld.

THE NIGHT MIGRATIONS

This is the moment when you see again

the red berries of the mountain ash

and in the dark sky

the birds’ night migrations.

It grieves me to think

the dead won’t see them—

these things we depend on,

they disappear.

What will the soul do for solace then?

I tell myself maybe it won’t need

these pleasures anymore;

maybe just not being is simply enough,

hard as that is to imagine.

I

OCTOBER

1.

Is it winter again, is it cold again,

didn’t Frank just slip on the ice,

didn’t he heal, weren’t the spring seeds planted

didn’t the night end,

didn’t the melting ice

flood the narrow gutters

wasn’t my body

rescued, wasn’t it safe

didn’t the scar form, invisible

above the injury

terror and cold,

didn’t they just end, wasn’t the back garden

harrowed and planted—

I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,

in stiff rows, weren’t the seeds planted,

didn’t vines climb the south wall

I can’t hear your voice

for the wind’s cries, whistling over the bare ground

I no longer care

what sound it makes

when was I silenced, when did it first seem

pointless to describe that sound

what it sounds like can’t change what it is—

didn’t the night end, wasn’t the earth

safe when it was planted

didn’t we plant the seeds,

weren’t we necessary to the earth,

the vines, were they harvested?

2.

Summer after summer has

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Reviews

What people think about Averno

4.0
33 ratings / 7 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Beautiful Imagery and I love the perspective change on the Persephone myth.
  • (5/5)
    This book is an enchantment, the writing style of Louise Gluck nails you in and goes so deep, precise and sharp and you get addicted to the way she uses her words. So I read it slowly to make it last longer.
  • (5/5)
    I couldn't say it better than this. From The NYTBR:

    "Far from the dull outposts where American poets have become willfully obscure or adopted antique models to assemble poems of scant content, poets like Glück are tapping the wellsprings of myth, collective and personal, to fuel their imaginations and, with hard-earned clarity and subtle music, to struggle with some of our oldest, most intractable fears — isolation and oblivion, the dissolution of love, the failure of memory, the breakdown of the body and destruction of the spirit. Glück isn't one to flinch in the face of suffering; if it's glib talk or easy irony you want, or a soothing metaphysical cocktail that promises redemption without pain, hers is not the poetry for you."
  • (4/5)
    Aching emotions and nature. Simple language, myth, and history. Will need to find more Gluck. Going for Meadowlands next.
  • (3/5)
    This collection wasn't as enjoyable as "Ararat". The poems in this collection are more abstract and the themes are more repetitive. Gluck uses the myth of Persephone to explore the nature of the human soul and death. The minor themes were fields, the relationship between Mothers and Daughters (to a much lesser extent than in "Ararat"), and Seasons. I enjoyed the collection but I can't pin point a particular poem that stood out to me. 'Prisms' was probably my favorite.
  • (5/5)
    Simultaneously soaring and sad. Gluck is a master of American poetry. I sense her poems becoming sadder as she ages, but the sadness is nearly majestic.