La poeta Louise Glück (New York City, April 22, 1943-) es una de las figuras más relevantes de la poesía contemporánea estadounidense, “por su inconfundible voz poética, que, con una belleza austera, convierte en universal la existencia individual” declaró la Academia Sueca, al anunciar que el Nobel de literatura se lo había concedido a la neoyorquina. Glück ya había sido galardonada con el Pulitzer en 1992 entre otros prestigiados premios.
Haciendo comparaciones con otros autores, la Academia dijo que Glück recordaba a la poeta estadounidense del siglo XIX Emily Dickinson en su “severidad y su renuencia a aceptar los simples dogmas de la fe”.
Los poemarios: Ararat, Averno, The Wild Iris, The Seven Ages, A Village Life, Meadowland, Vita nova, han sido traducidos al español y todos ellos publicados en España por la editorial Pre-Textos. En 1994, Glück reunió sus ensayos sobre poesía bajo el título de “Pruebas y teorías”.
Glück ganó el Pulitzer por The wild iris (el iris salvaje) “que devela lo que significa vivir, morir y renacer de nuevo. Es una lucha que tiene una puerta al final, una luz al final del túnel. También es posible leer este poema como una descripción de un renacimiento mental o emocional en lugar de físico”.
Con El triunfo de Aquiles, ganó el National Book Critics Circle Award. Con Ararat, la poeta empezó a universalizarse siendo leída por miles de seguidores no solo en Estados Unidos sino también en otros países del mundo. En Ararat se unen tres características que, posteriormente, se repetirán en sus textos: el tema de la vida familiar, la inteligencia austera y un refinado sentido de la composición que marca el libro como un todo.
Prolífera, Glück tiene en su haber una serie de poemarios que describen sus diferentes etapas de su vida y sus visiones en una sociedad discordante. Algunos todavía poco conocidos en el mundo literario en castellano.


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
Sleep again
If I cannot have you.
From Meadowland-1997


The sky’s light behind the mountain
though the sum is gone-this light
is like the sun’s shadow, passing over the earth.

Before, when the sun was high,
you couldn’t look at the sky or you’d go blind.
That time of the day, the men don’t work.
They lie in the shade, waiting, resting;
their undershirts are stained with sweet.

But under the trees it´s cool,
like the flask of water that gets passed around.
A green awning’s over their heads, blocking the sum.
No talk, just the leaves rustling in the heat,
the sound of the water moving from hand to hand.

This hour or two is the best time of day.
Not sleep, not awake, not drunk,
and the women far away
so that the day becomes suddenly calm, quiet, and expansive,
without the women’s turbulence.

The men lie under their canopy, apart from the heat,
as though the work were done.
Beyond the fields, the river´s soundless, motionless-
scum mottles the surface.

To a man, they know when the hour’s gone.
The flask gets put away, the bread, if there’s bread.
The leaves darken a little, the shadows change.
The sun’s moving again taking the men along,
regardless of their preferences.

Above the fields, the heat´s fierce still, even in decline.
The machines stand where they were left,
patient, waiting for the men´s return.

The sky´s bright, but twilight is coming.
The wheat has to be threshed; many hours remain
before the work is finished.
And afterward, walking home through the fields,
dealing with the evening.

So much time best forgotten.
Tense, unable to sleep, the woman´s soft body
always shifting closer-
That time in the wood: that was reality.
This is the dream.

From The American Scholar
The Best American Poetry 2008.


You see, they have no judgment.
So it is natural that they should drown,
first the ice taking them in
and then, all winter, their wool scarves
floating behind them as they sink
until at last they are quiet.
And the pond lifts them in its manifold dark arms.

But death must come to them differently,
so close to the beginning.
As though they had always been
blind and weightless. Therefore
the rest is dreamed, the lamp,
the good white cloth that covered the table,
their bodies.

And yet they hear the names they used
like lures slipping over the pond:
What are you waiting for
come home, come home, lost
in the waters, blue and permanent.

From Descending Figure-1980


I had drawn my chair to the hotel window, to watch the rain.

I was in a kind of dream or trance—
in love, and yet
I wanted nothing.

It seemed unnecessary to touch you, to see you again.
I wanted only this:
the room, the chair, the sound of the rain falling,
hour after hour, in the warmth of the spring night.

I needed nothing more; I was utterly sated.
My heart had become small; it took very little to fill it.
I watched the rain falling in heavy sheets over the darkened city—

You were not concerned; I could let you
live as you needed to live.

At dawn the rain abated. I did the things
one does in daylight, I acquitted myself,
but I moved like a sleepwalker.

It was enough and it no longer involved you.
A few days in a strange city.
A conversation, the touch of a hand.
And afterward, I took off my wedding ring.

That was what I wanted: to be naked.

From The Seven Ages- 2001


It´s very dark today; through the rain,
the mountain isn´t visible. The only sound
is rain, driving life underground.
And with the rain, cold comes.
There will be no moon tonight, no stars.
The wind rose at night;
all morning it lashed against the wheat –
at noon it ended. But the storm went on,
soaking the dry fields, then flooding them –
The earth has vanished.
There’s nothing to see, only the rain
gleaming against the dark windows.
This is the resting place, where nothing moves –
Now we return to what we were,
animals living in darkness
without language or vision –
Nothing proves I’m alive.
There is only the rain, the rain is endless.
From A Village Life-2009

He aquí una lista de algunos de los libros de la Nobel 2020, de 78 años.
Firstborn, The New American Library, 1968.
The House on Marshland, The Ecco Press, 1975.
Descending Figure, The Ecco Press, 1980.
The Triumph of Achilles The Ecco Press, 1985.
Ararat, The Ecco Press, 1990.
The Wild Iris, The Ecco Press, 1992.
Meadowland, The Ecco Press, 1997.
Vita Nova. The Ecco Press, 1999
The Seven Ages. The Ecco Press, 2001
Averno, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2006.
Village Life, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2009Poems: 1962–2012. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2012.
Faithfull and Virtuous Night. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2014.