Louise Gluck | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Louise Gluck 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

To study the disintegration of a marriage through the lens of wandering Odysseus and stuck-at-home Penelope is hardly original. But why strive for novelty when there are still riches to be mined from the same old story? "Such a mistake to want / clarity above all things," Louise Gluck chides herself early in Meadowlands, her 1996 collection. But that book-length sequence of poems actively courts such clarification, as Gluck seeks to balance the passion and responsibility of love, the security and irritation of marriage. Swinging between a contemporary couple driving each other nuts and those bronze and tragic Greeks, she creates an impressive whole, even if it is something more like a domestic novel than a Homeric epic. Gluck is a lyricist, and her finest moments are among the Ithacans--Penelope bent to her loom, an insane pride building within her; Odysseus leaving Circe and returning to his ship and his duty, when "Time / begins now, in which he hears again / that pulse which is the narrative / sea." The same careful accretion of image, emotion, and idea--Apollonian for sure, but never icy--copped her a Pulitzer in 1993 for The Wild Iris, and she's now wrapping up a year as U.S. poet laureate. She'll be introduced at this Poetry Center of Chicago event by new Illinois poet laureate Kevin Stein. a Wed 9/29, 6:30 PM, School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan, 312-899-1229, $10.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Patrick Daily

  • The Lives He's Leading

    The Lives He's Leading

    At 91, sci-fi master Frederik Pohl comes out with a dystopian new novel, All the Lives He Led
    • Apr 14, 2011
  • Local Lit

    Local Lit

    From authors with a Chicago connection: a backpacker thriller, taking license with Louisa May Alcott, and more
    • Apr 22, 2010
  • Wolcott Patient No. 2?

    To WNEP Theater: James Wolcott can't make it to your show.
    • Oct 22, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
His Shadow 16th Street Theater, Berwyn Cultural Center
September 05
Performing Arts
Bernhardt/Hamlet Goodman Theatre
September 14

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories