Faithful and Virtuous Night, Louise Gluck, 2014
A beautiful and lyrical slim book of poems by this Vermont writer, winner of nearly every poetry prize imaginable, and a wonderful addition to her 1962-2012 Collected Poems. The tone is set by the very first poem entitled Parable, in which a journey symbolizes life’s trajectory and the question of ‘purpose.’ Poems about family (she lost both parents in an auto accident as well as an infant sibling) and life’s finitude as well as some prose poems, all share Gluck’s facility with language and image and are worth reading and re-reading. Bedrooms, gardens, cemetery, and trains all figure prominently as images of the travel through life and the cycles of those lives. “And all the persons one will never know/crowd into the aisle, and all are funneled/into the terminal.” From Approach of the Horizon; “…the dogs/were sleeping at her feet where time was also sleeping,/calm and unmoving as in all photographs.” from A Summer Garden; “various other passions and sensations were, in the same way,/set aside forever.” From An Adventure. ; “How deep it goes, this soul,/like a child in a department store,’/seeking its mother—from the title poem. I read this book three separate times and found beauty and new pearls in each reading.