The Wild Iris by Louise Glück

Yesterday, I visited several East Texas libraries on my return to Monroe, Louisiana from the Fort Worth area, making sales and planning future programs. Last night, I read The Wild Iris by Louise Glück. It was a fabulous read. On the back cover, Helen Vendler, with the New Republic, says:

“Louise Glück is a poet of strong and haunting presence . . . What a strange book the Wild Iris is, appearing in this fin-de-siecle, written in the language of flowers. It is a lieder cycle, with all the mournful cadences of that form. It wagers everything on the poetric energy remaining in the old troubadour image of the spring, the Biblical lilies of the field, natural resurrection.”

My own response was similar to Robert Peake’s blog entry: First Read of Louise Glück’s The Wild Iris. He has some good thoughts and here’s the link to that: archives/ 194-First-Read-Of-Louise-Gluecks-The-Wild-Iris.html

Here are some lines from the Wild Iris (listed by page numbers) I underlined that I thought might be good starter ideas for titles or stories:

“Forgive me if I say I love you: the powerful/are always lied to since the weak are always/ driven by panic” (12)

“human beings leave signs of feeling/everywhere” (18)

“the moon is still that much of a living thing” (19).

“It was not meant/ to last forever in the real world” (23)

“What is my heart to you/ that you must break it over and over” (26).


In just a few minutes, I’m leaving for Waldenbooks in the mall at Alexandria, Louisiana, so of necessity, this is a short post. With schools being let out today, it should be a very busy shopping day at that mall. Hopefully, I’ll meet many teachers and can set up some programs. Tomorrow, I hope to have a posting relating a meeting with a Viet Nam helicopter pilot. A fascinating and touching story.

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