The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
The latest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Louise Glück, is an American poet whose verse is accessible and straightforward – no deliberate obscurity or arcane allusions or off-putting architectural stanzas. There’s an almost plain-spoken intimacy to much of her writing. She crafts insights into relatable subjects – domestic relationships, family life, aging, death – by writing about observable, quotidian things like birds, gardens, bedrooms. The New York Times recently published an admiration of Gluck’s work which celebrated it for not being nice. And it’s true: if poetry is going to engage with this world, it can’t afford always to be nice.
And if you’ve already read Glück and want to expand your horizons with some other recent and not-as-recent Nobel-winning writers, the Library’s got you covered:
Prizes are weird. When asked about winning the Nobel, Glück said “It doesn’t make sense.” But even if you don’t love every writer the Nobel committee endorses – and I guarantee you won’t – they do create, when taken together, a vision of the range of human possibility in the reaction to violence, absurdity and hope.