Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
In an astonishing book-length sequence, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gluck interweaves the dissolution of a contemporary marriage with the story of The Odyssey.
Here is Penelope stubbornly weaving, elevating the act of waiting into an act of will; here, too, is a worldly Circe, a divided Odysseus, and a shrewd adolescent Telemachus. Through these classical figures, Meadowlands explores such timeless themes as the endless negotiation of family life, the cruelty that intimacy enables, and the frustrating trivia of the everyday. Gluck discovers in contemporary life the same quandary that lies at the heart of The Odyssey: the "unanswerable/affliction of the human heart: how to divide/the world's beauty into acceptable/and unacceptable loves."
Louise Glück (1943-2023) was the author of two collections of essays and thirteen books of poems. Her many awards included the Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris, the National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night, the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Triumph of Achilles, the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poems 1962–2012, and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She taught at Yale University and Stanford University and lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"[Gluck's] most ambitious and compelling book. Meadowlands suggests that its much-honored author is not willing to take her own achievement for granted, and the result is a poetry more stringently dissatisfied and beautiful than ever before." — The Yale Review
"Although Gluck is still in the middle of her career, it's clear that she is one of those poets—like Yeats, for example, and unlike Stevens—whose writing is provoked by their unfolding temporal life. . . . For more than a decade, Gluck has been writing books of poems that are meant to be encountered like novels, and has been looking into the difficult problem of finding a structure whereby an essentially lyric gift can be adapted to epic and unifying ambitions. Meadowlands gives us her most elaborate and satisfying solution." — The New Yorker