We are, each one of us, / the one who awakens first, / who moves and sees, there in the first dawn, / the stranger.
Louise Gluck, the American poet who wrote the previous verses in 2006 and who received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, has died at the age of 80, when her discovery for the general public of literature was still young. This same year, the American writer’s essays appeared for the first time in Spain (Complete essaysEditorial Visor) as an instruction manual for the work of one of the least known Nobel Prize winners of recent times. The first poet since the year of the Polish Wislawa Szymborska (1996).
«The core of this work [es] poetry as an exercise in self-analysis and transformation of the self; “poetry as a journey,” wrote Jordi Doce in his review of those essays for EL MUNDO. The first half of the thesis of that review stated that Glück’s poetic work had to be understood as a kind of very severe, “almost punitive” exploration into one’s own life. The other part of the criticism went beyond the strategy and focused on the tool, on a singular voice, different from any other, willing to phrasing more than to the fetishism of the imageas occurs in other poets of his generation.
How to define the charm of a poetic voice without falling into clichés? The answer may lie in ambiguity: Glück’s poetry sounds cold and intellectual, It is full of ghostly figures and winter landscapes, but he is capable of delighting in the life and delicacy of flowers like the troubadours of the Middle Ages. Haughty and pleading, intimate and self-absorbed, vulnerable and self-sufficient, colloquial and professorial… Any pair of opposite extremes can be applied to the literature of Louise Glück… Storyteller and impressionist.
He was two people. / It was the body and the voice, the natural magnetism / of a living man, and then / the dream or the image that unfolds / and shapes the woman who works the loom, / sitting there, in a room full / of men without imagination .