In a year that has brought the world to a standstill, Love Smitten wishes to celebrate even the tiniest of the good news. That said, winning the noble prize is no tiny news. And so… the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 goes to Louise Gluck!
Louise Gluck Biography
American poet, known for her poems that connect with sagacious emotions and her autobiographical style, just won the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020. Her award makes us go yay because we are on a relentless lookout for the best news from the Literature field. Amid all the negative news, this one has granted us with a reason to smile. Seventy-seven-year-old Louise Gluck captivated a million hearts with her innate quality of writing uncomplex, yet retrospective verses.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 adds to the many feathers on Louise Gluck’s creative caps such as the National Humanities Medal, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Bollingen Prize to name a few. Be it the far end of natural sentiments, or the side of loneliness that humans fear, Louise captured these feelings in her poems.
What strikes us most about the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020, Louise Gluck, is that she was one who set out on the journey to be heard without an official college degree. Her first book, Firstborn also acquired quite a critical response. Ironically, she changed the face of the poetic world of the modern era to become a professor who reached Poetry and English Language. Of course, we don’t encourage not getting a degree, but, you see how passion can drive you to places where no one has ever been?
Unafraid of exploring the dark sides of life, and exploring the inner side of painful feelings like loss, death, heartbreak, pain, rejection, and broken families, Louise Gluck has come a long way!
A plethora of honors, fellowships, department jobs as an English lecturer, awards, and mentions make Luise Gluck worthy of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020. Over the years, she has become the big wheel of the Literature field and has only given the poetic land a velvety touch of her distinct words.
Collection of Louise Gluck Poems
It would be a shame to mention the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 winner and not revel in the best Louise Gluck poems! In this section, we will take a look at some of Gluck’s best poems, and revere the beauty of her metrical compositions.
Love Poem by Lousie Gluck
Out of the eleventy poems by Louise Gluck, Love Poem is one that received tremendous audience admiration. It is one of our favorites from this collection. The depth in the poem only reaffirms why she has every right to hold the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature 2020.
There is always something to be made of pain.
Your mother knits.
She turns out scarves in every shade of red.
They were for Christmas, and they kept you warm
while she married over and over, taking you
along. How could it work,
when all those years she stored her widowed heart
as though the dead come back.
No wonder you are the way you are,
afraid of blood, your women
like one brick wall after another.
“Widows” is one of the best Lousie Gluck poems that targets the emotions of a woman who has lost her husband. Her constant references with the cards that indirectly indicate the loss of a loved one stirs even the last string of a poignant heart. If such a laudable poet doesn’t win the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020, who should?
My mother’s playing cards with my aunt,
Spite and Malice, the family pastime, the game
my grandmother taught all her daughters.
Midsummer: too hot to go out.
Today, my aunt’s ahead; she’s getting the good cards.
My mother’s dragging, having trouble with her concentration.
She can’t get used to her own bed this summer.
She had no trouble last summer,
getting used to the floor. She learned to sleep there
to be near my father.
He was dying; he got a special bed.
My aunt doesn’t give an inch, doesn’t make
allowance for my mother’s weariness.
It’s how they were raised: you show respect by fighting.
To let up insults the opponent.
Each player has one pile to the left, five cards in the hand.
It’s good to stay inside on days like this,
to stay where it’s cool.
And this is better than other games, better than solitaire.
My grandmother thought ahead; she prepared her daughters.
They have cards; they have each other.
They don’t need any more companionship.
All afternoon the game goes on but the sun doesn’t move.
It just keeps beating down, turning the grass yellow.
That’s how it must seem to my mother.
And then, suddenly, something is over.
My aunt’s been at it longer; maybe that’s why she’s playing better.
Her cards evaporate: that’s what you want, that’s the object: in the end,
the one who has nothing wins.
In the last stanza of the poem Widows, Louise’s reference of the aunt being at it longer leaves one teary-eyed. By making a reference to her being the best at the card game, since she’s been at it longer, clearly states how she’s the one who’s lived longest without a husband. And so, she knows best how to live along. The line- in the end, the one who has nothing wins- stole every piece of our breaking heart.
Lullaby by Louise Gluck
Lullaby is yet another one of Louise Gluck’s poems that makes us believe she is the best contender and winner for the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020.
My mother’s an expert in one thing:
sending people she loves into the other world.
The little ones, the babies–these
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can’t say
what she did for my father;
whatever it was, I’m sure it was right.
It’s the same thing, really, preparing a person
for sleep, for death. The lullabies–they all say
don’t be afraid, that’s how they paraphrase
the heartbeat of the mother.
So the living grow slowly calm; it’s only
the dying who can’t, who refuse.
The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes–
they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.
Then they fly apart: in my mother’s arms,
my sister was a cloud of atoms, of particles–that’s the difference.
When a child’s asleep, it’s still whole.
My mother’s seen death; she doesn’t talk about the soul’s integrity.
She’s held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew
solid around them, finally changing to earth.
The soul’s like all matter:
why would it stay intact, stay faithful to its one form,
when it could be free?
Louise Gluck’s Lullaby is a superlative piece of poetry where she combines the concepts of sleep and death. Lines like My mother’s seen death; she doesn’t talk about the soul’s integrity. She’s held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew solid around them, finally changing to earth send goosebumps down our spine. It makes us introspect about various aspects of life- motherhood, death, and the freedom of souls from this material world.
Adding to our collection of the best Louise Gluck poems is Circe’s Torment. The name in itself is enough to express the pain and torment the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 winner has expressed with these lines.
I regret bitterly
The years of loving you in both
Your presence and absence, regret
The law, the vocation
That forbid me to keep you, the sea
A sheet of glass, the sun-bleached
Beauty of the Greek ships: how
Could I have power if
I had no wish
To transform you: as
You loved my body,
As you found there
Passion we held above
All other gifts, in that single moment
Over honor and hope, over
Loyalty, in the name of that bond
I refuse you
Such feeling for your wife
As will let you
Rest with her, I refuse you
If I cannot have you.
The Silver Lily
The Silver Lily is the last one in our collection of Louise Gluck’s poems in honor of her Nobel Prize in Literature 2020. It is unpretentious, straightforward, and simply marvelous!
The nights have grown cool again, like the nightsof early spring, and quiet again. Willspeech disturb you? We’realone now; we have no reason for silence.Can you see, over the garden—the full moon rises.I won’t see the next full moon.In spring, when the moon rose, it meanttime was endless. Snowdropsopened and closed, the clusteredseeds of the maples fell in pale drifts.White over white, the moon rose over the birch tree.And in the crook, where the tree divides,leaves of the first daffodils, in moonlightsoft greenish-silver.We have come too far together toward the end nowto fear the end. These nights, I am no longer even certainI know what the end means. And you, who’ve been with a man—after the first cries,doesn’t joy, like fear, make no sound?