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Paperback The Wild Iris Book

ISBN: 0880013346

ISBN13: 9780880013345

The Wild Iris

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Book Overview

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gl ck, a stunningly beautiful collection of poems that encompasses the natural, human, and spiritual realms

Bound together by the universal themes of time and mortality and with clarity and sureness of craft, Louise Gl ck's poetry questions, explores, and finally celebrates...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Psalms from the Garden

Louise Glück explores the complex relationship between God, humans, and the natural world with startling emotional depth in The Wild Iris, her sixth collection. Far from the strained and occasionally awkward lines and language of her previous books, these poems strive for and usually master an elegant lyricism in the imagined voices of wildflowers; of God manifest in wind, light, and changing seasons; and of a woman who struggles to find evidence of God while laboring in a garden in a cold climate. In poems most often titled "Matins" and "Vespers," the human voice expresses fear, frustration, and love, while "checking / each clump for the symbolic / leaf" in the garden and entertaining the apprehension that God, the addressed "you" of these poems, "exist[s] / exclusively in warmer climates...." Plants, most often wildflowers, counter these prayers, presenting a view more eternal for the accelerated brevity of their lives. Glück's gift in these poems is a capacity for lyric eruption coupled with emotional restraint. The voices are passionate but never hysterical; plants and God chide humans, as in the poem above, for their apparently willful ignorance, but the criticism never reads as self-pity. These poems grapple honestly and successfully with questions of ultimate reality, not sheering away from critical self-assessment nor veering into a merely postured piety. They sing and praise and renew with successive readings.

Standout from the crowd

I read this book for a university intro to poetry class. I had never read much real poetry before this class, so I had no choice but to approach this book with the beginner's mind. I must say that out of all of the great poetry we read in class, this book had my favorite selections in it. It inspired wonderful conversation about the idea of God, the capacity for nature to teach us new things, and the way that many humans don't seem to understand the world that they live in. There is no fixed voice here, at times the persona is God observing his creation, or it is the mind of a flower or a plant and at other times it is a despairing, confused and frustrated human. It is not always clear which voice each poem is written in, as God and human voices both sound like the plant voice sometimes and vice versa. This makes the plant voice something like the middle ground where God and the humans could communicate if only they knew how. All in all the balance of the three different styles of poetry blend together into a cohesive whole that really should be read as one related theme. Within all of that, there are images in this book that I think will either inspire or haunt you, or both. This is what I had imagined great poetry to be. This book defies the cliches about what nature poetry should be like and establishes a vivid and beautiful alternative world that is actually right before our eyes.

Elegantly Complex

Iris is an elegant and noble flower even if it is a wild one.Ms. Glück sends us flowers of pain, love and dream.They come in thin bundles but mean so much...

Wonderful Portrait of Life Struggling with Illusion

I loved this book! I picked this collection of transcendant poems while a senior in high school and was enthralled with its poignancy. I was able to relate to the character's questioning of an omnipresent God as well as the pain they faced when considering the possibilities of a harsh, uncaring "other" in the Heavens. Completely fulfilling and a joy to read!

Excellent depiction of the fragility and true nature of life

Wild Iris blooms with spiritual beauty in relationship to those on Earth, to God and heaven. Following the cycle of nature in her garden her soul transcends her flowers, through changing seasons. Her archaic word art impresses deep emotions. A nurturing garden yet filled with sadness, despair, grief Rebirth, Death. The ending of a life cycle.Each page turns as delicately as petals from flowering blossoms and as leaves of the birch flutter down. This collection of poems by Louise Gluck is much more than a beautiful and moving bouquet of irises, poppies, lillies, and daises . . . As rootstocks bind with Mother Earth Gluck's poetry speaks to God with deep spiritual connection. Transforming mind and soul.Transcending from Earth, the gift of nature--our life on Earth. We blossom with radiance from the sun's rays and the glow of moonbeams. Standing erect through the chill of evening snowfall and events of suffrage.Embrace faith to sustain the changing seasons And life cycles. The Wild Iris in mind, return to the garden of life with renewed tenderness.Her words embrace the reader in one sitting. Enjoy and re-read for Gluck has great talent in which she transforms her words into the same sheer beauty a wild iris possesses. She shares deep emotion for life and what it holds for the mortal and immortal. Her words form lovely images that color a spiritual garden. Gluck opens her heart offering an enriching experience and peaceful serenity.Thank you Louise Gluck for sharing your words of beauty depicting the fragility and true nature of life.(The non-poet will be inspired to write poetry after reading Gluck's anthology.)

The Wild Iris Mentions in Our Blog

The Wild Iris in And The Nobel Prize for Literature Goes To . . .
And The Nobel Prize for Literature Goes To . . .
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 05, 2023

Unlike many literary prizes, the Nobel Prize is based on a body's author of work as a whole, rather than an individual title. This year's Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse. Read on to learn about his impact, as well as that of winners from the past seven years.

The Wild Iris in Poetry for Beginners
Poetry for Beginners
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 15, 2021

Amanda Gorman stole the show last January when she shared her poem The Hill We Climb. Her evocative, energizing voice offered a fresh, accessible take on what many consider to be an esoteric, staid genre. Her new book, Call Us What We Carry, comes out on December 7 and here we spotlight fifteen other poets whose verses provide a good entry point into the dynamic artform of poetry.

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