Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Poets and Poems: Louise Gluck and “Faithful and Virtuous Night”

It is late afternoon. You enter the movie theater. You walk through the lobby to the auditorium. There, the late afternoon becomes night. You find a good seat. You see the previews of coming attractions, and the command to silence your mobile device. You wait. The movie begins. It is French. Black-and-white images flicker. A story unfolds across the screen.

Reading Louise Gluck’s Faithful and Virtuous Night is like that movie experience. Each poem is a film, or a film script for the eye. Consider “the Past,” one of the shorter of the 24 poems occupying 81 pages:

The Past
Small light in the sky appearing
suddenly between
two pine boughs, their fine needles

now etched onto the radiant surface
and above this
high, feathery heaven—

Smell the air. That is the smell of the white pine,
most intense when the wind blows through it
and the sound it makes equally strange,
like the sound of the wind in a movie—

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Photograph by Cristie Guevara via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

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