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The Triumph of Achilles
Louise Glück
From the opening line ("It is not the moon, I tell you") Gluck claims absolute control of subject, craft, and perception. We see what we are instructed to see; we understand what Gluck insists we understand. Gluck's sensitivity to emotional nuance is extreme: "I ask you, how much beauty/ can a person bear? It is/ heavier than ugliness, even the burden/ of emptiness is nothing beside it." Her genius lies in her passionate restraint, a mingling of plain and elevated diction, a reliance on indirection and understatement. Resolution and revelation arise from the stately balance of poems which demand order from anarchy: "Why love what you will lose?/ There is nothing else to love." Gluck is foremost among her generation of poets and no collection should be without all four of her full-length books. - Rhoda Yerburgh, English Dept., Vermont Coll., Montpelier
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. (from Library Journal)
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