Louise Gluck: Nobel laureate
I have mixed feelings about her poetry, which I tried to read. Much of it is quite tedious, in a way that Ted Kooser is not tedious. Her word choices don't come across as genius. Overall, she's a mixed bag.
An example of a variably good poem below. The ending leaves an impression, but 'until at last they are quiet' in S1 does not.


The Drowned Children
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:
[i]What are you waiting for[/i]
[i]come home, come home, lost[/i]
[i]in the waters, blue and permanent[/i].

Or the one below...what is remotely skilled about it?

The Untrustworthy Speaker
Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken.
I don’t see anything objectively.

I know myself; I’ve learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
that’s when I’m least to be trusted.

It’s very sad, really: all my life, I’ve been praised
for my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight.
In the end, they’re wasted—

I never see myself,
standing on the front steps, holding my sister’s hand.
That’s why I can’t account
for the bruises on her arm, where the sleeve ends.

In my own mind, I’m invisible: that’s why I’m dangerous.
People like me, who seem selfless,
we’re the cripples, the liars;
we’re the ones who should be factored out
in the interest of truth.

When I’m quiet, that’s when the truth emerges.
A clear sky, the clouds like white fibers.
Underneath, a little gray house, the azaleas
red and bright pink.

If you want the truth, you have to close yourself
to the older daughter, block her out:
when a living thing is hurt like that,
in its deepest workings,
all function is altered.

That’s why I’m not to be trusted.
Because a wound to the heart
is also a wound to the mind.
Personally, I consider a great poet one whose poems I can take from. I read their body of work as a whole, and gradually mine it for what's gold to me.
But I consider myself a writer of poems. And I wonder if I read differently, then.

Reading the above poems: The first one you considered good, and as such, I've forgotten already. And will read again, for poetry's sake. And because I know a dead girl named Louise.

The second poem, I like the last two stanzas of.

I wonder if what makes poetry transcends, somehow, what people like.
They both seem solid (as one of our better critics here often says in valued praise).  

In the first, I don't see quite how that line could be improved - "until at last they quiesce" sounds well and means even more, but the word's so uncommon my spell-checker has never heard of it.

In the second, I read it as a long build-up to the final couplet - which is dynamite, worth writing in my copy-book.  It may not have been intended that way, more as an excuse by the speaker... but when generalized to everyone, wow.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
A new poet to consider. Much appreciated.
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
I'm glad she won. I always liked her poetry. Not a sociological poet. A fierce inward poet like, say, Dickinson. It's funny how certain stanzas can stick in your craw. They may not even be especially profound ones either.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

That was like the poetic definition of anxiety to me.

Anyway...wrote like three or four fantastic books of poetry. Well deserved, though I was surprised she won the award.
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

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Sorry, I stan her so much, so, yeah xD
Her collection of stuff from 1962-2012 has had a big impact on me. Having her be recommended to me, probably by this very site too, I would not be hard-pressed to say got me into being a better poet. Her style is....hard to replicate tbh, it's very particular, and the way it's particular means that at a certain point the collection becomes rather weak. She's almost, idk, solipsistic in her interests -- the speakers she adopts often feel very particular, very personal, very confessional -- but her sparseness, her hard-to-replicate style, the way the simplest of sayings sharpen to a point when she makes use of them, letting ooze meaning from whatever topic she chooses to pierce, launches her confessional mode from the drudges of contemporary half-imagistic half-"plainspoken" mishmash (sorry, Plath) to the sublime. I am elated, and I might just spam her poetry in PotD because of it....okay I probably won't lol.
Interesting to see the responses. I find her insufferable for the same reasons as some seem to have found her admirable. The mishmash being one.
I like the dead poets, I can conjure their spirits into my room at night. I could conjure the spirits of alive poets, but that might be thought of as murder.

Those black and white photographs of her don't look half bad. I wonder if they're considered as dead. The cells, you know.
Love her work. Glad she won.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson

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