Vita Nova an invitation to cry with her over her own private sorrows. Begging to be by Louise Glück Ecco Press, 1999, 51 pp., $22 In Vita Nova, Louise Glück ven- tures openly and gleefully into self-parody. Her trademark spareness is still there, and serves her well in seU-consciously sentimental carried off on "my horse Abstraction," the speaker of "The Winged Horse" complains, "I am weary of my other mount/by Instinct out of Reality,/ color of dust, of disappointment." Repeatedly, Glück sets us up to expect confessional narratives and, poems such as "The Winged Horse," economy of language is, as always, praiseworthy, as is her ability to evoke discreet shadings in mood and tone. But what I like best about Vita_ Nova is that Glück, whose work has "Evening Prayers" and "Nest." Her repeatedly, she denies us absolution, comprehension, understanding. Instead we are left yearning with her, unsaved, unsatisfied, and unrepentantly catty about the confessional process. Where to locate Glück herself? In always been sharp and witty, for the first time invites us in on the joke-- all the jokes, in fact. While that chumminess can be strained at times, ifs a nice break from her usual dead-
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1999
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