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Like Dolls with Their Heads Cut Off

Laura Quinney: Louise Glück, 21 July 2005

by Louise Glück.
Sarabande, 32 pp., $8.95, April 2004, 1 932511 00 8
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... Louise Glück, the poet laureate of the United States for 2003-2004, belongs to the line of American poets who value fierce lyric compression. This tradition was established by Emily Dickinson and her followers: H.D., Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Bishop. It is a tradition predominantly, though not exclusively, of women poets; the opposing tradition of ornate or discursive amplitude has been predominantly male (Whitman, Crane, Pound, Eliot, Ginsberg ...

Stand-Up Vampire

Gillian White: Louise Glück, 26 September 2013

Poems 1962-2012 
by Louise Glück.
Farrar, Straus, 634 pp., £30, November 2012, 978 0 374 12608 7
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... the fact that I am 75 begins to seem like the most serious thing that has ever happened to me.’ Louise Glück’s Poems 1962-2012 appeared just before she was 70, collecting in order of appearance 11 books of poems (627 pages and 395 poems in all), written over 50 years. The blurb puts Stevens’s view before us plainly enough: the work has been ...

Charmed Quarantine

James Wood, 21 March 1996

Soul Says: On Recent Poetry 
by Helen Vendler.
Harvard, 266 pp., £15.95, June 1995, 0 674 82146 7
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The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham 
by Helen Vendler.
Harvard, 100 pp., £18.95, January 1996, 0 674 08121 8
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The Given and the Made: Strategies of Poetic Redefinition 
by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 137 pp., £7.99, April 1995, 0 571 17078 1
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... John Ashbery, James Merrill, A.R. Ammons, Amy Clampitt, Charles Simic, Dave Smith, Seamus Heaney, Louise Glück, Jorie Graham and Rita Dove. Vendler is in love with the lyric, indeed so in love with it that she befriends strangers who appear to resemble it: in her collection of review-essays, Soul Says, she converts all her chosen subjects into writers ...

Purple Days

Mark Ford, 12 May 1994

The Pugilist at Rest 
by Thom Jones.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 571 17134 6
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The Sorrow of War 
by Bao Ninh, translated by Frank Palmos.
Secker, 217 pp., £8.99, January 1994, 0 436 31042 2
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A Good Scent from Strange Mountain 
by Robert Olen Butler.
Minerva, 249 pp., £5.99, November 1993, 0 7493 9767 5
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Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation 
by David Wyatt.
Cambridge, 230 pp., £35, February 1994, 9780521441513
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... chosen band of artists – who range from Bruce Springsteen to Alice Walker, George Lucas to Louise Glück – and the specific linguistic, narrative, or political problems posed by Vietnam. For such as Bruce Springsteen the most immediate issue was the draft. In the event he failed his physical on account of injuries sustained in a motorbike ...


Louise Foxcroft: W.B. Yeats and her great-uncle, 7 September 2000

... My great-uncle Alfred Hollis was in his early forties when he died; he was a bachelor and had never worked. According to my aunt he was always dressed beautifully, quite beyond his means. In the only photograph I have of him he is sporting a rakishly angled, wide-brimmed hat with a feather in its band, a high stiff collar, a waistcoat and long jacket ...


John Kerrigan, 2 April 1987

The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry 
edited by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 440 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 13945 0
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Selected Poems 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 348 pp., £16.95, April 1986, 0 85635 666 2
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The Poetry Book Society Anthology 1986/87 
edited by Jonathan Barker.
Hutchinson, 94 pp., £4.95, November 1986, 0 09 165961 2
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Two Horse Wagon Going By 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 143 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 85635 661 1
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... for Hass or Dulpen, there is much to please, including a clutch of decorously unfeminist women. Louise Glück, for instance, seems well-chosen. In a disembodied way, her idiom is effective, as when plumbing the Sublime to find an Elegy: ‘The Drowned Children’ You see, they have no judgment. So it is natural that they should drown, first the ice ...


John Kerrigan, 18 July 1996

The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird 
by Justin Quinn.
Carcanet, 69 pp., £7.95, March 1995, 1 85754 125 1
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Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 254 pp., £18.95, April 1995, 1 85754 074 3
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Collected Poems 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 217 pp., £9.95, November 1995, 1 85754 220 7
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Captain Lavender 
by Medbh McGuckian.
Gallery Press, 83 pp., £11.95, November 1994, 9781852351427
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... rather than ditched in a fit of righteousness. Commenting on lyrics by Plath, Carol Ann Duffy and Louise Glück as well as her own, Boland suggests that the ‘poignant place’ of dislocation inside the text can be reconfigured and remapped. This is something which she sees herself doing as ‘Making the Difference’ ends. Musing on her Dundrum ...

Summarising Oneself

Julian Barnes: Degas’s Vanity, 19 November 2020

The Letters of Edgar Degas 
edited by Theodore Reff.
Wildenstein Plattner Institute, 1464 pp., £150, June, 978 0 9988175 1 4
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... broke with many friends over the affair. The saddest and stupidest example was that of Ludovic and Louise Halévy. They had been two of his closest and oldest friends: Ludovic and he had been at school together; Louise had been a close childhood friend of Degas’s sister Marguerite and he was deeply attached to her; he ...

The Sound of Voices Intoning Names

Thomas Laqueur, 5 June 1997

French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial 
by Serge Klarsfeld.
New York, 1881 pp., $95, November 1996, 0 8147 2662 3
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... another woman so that her body is mostly hidden; both women are smiling. Tordjman’s daughter, Louise, seven, peeks out from behind her five-year-old brother, Jacques, who looks resolutely into the camera – that is to say, at us. All the Tordjmans were captured at a UGIF (Union Générale des Israélites de France) home in the South of France on 20 ...

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