Because Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature

Because Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature

The American poet, much appreciated in her homeland, is one of the most rugged and essential voices of the contemporary world. Her reflection on trauma and nature comes to life thanks to an exasperated language full of mythical suggestions

(Photo: Getty Images) In a year in which bookmakers favored several writers, including the Caribbean Maryse Condé, the Canadian Anne Carson and the Russian Lyudmila Ulitskaya, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 2020 was still a woman, but certainly not one of the most predictable, again in the opinion of bookmakers: Louise Glück (read "glik") is a American poet extremely well known in her homeland, where she was awarded with the main national literary awards, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, and was also poet laureate (a kind of "official poet of the nation") from 2003 to 2004. On this side of the ocean, to tell the truth, his fame is limited, so much so that in Italy only two of his numerous collections have been published, L'iris selvatico (Giano, 2003) and Averno (Dante & Descartes, 2019) , men tre also appears in the anthologies West of Your Cities (minimum fax, 2003) and New American poets (Einaudi, 2006).

Lovers of poetry consider that of Glück a very clear and formidable voice in the context of the contemporary soul narrative. Born in New York on April 22, 1943 from a family of Jewish-Hungarian origins, she grew up in a very lively environment from a cultural point of view, where she learned early on her passion for Greek mythology and classic stories, especially those with a female imprint of Persephone or Joan of Arc. A particularly ferocious anorexia forced her to leave high school and later she also abandoned her studies at Columbia University: the lack of a traditional training course did not prevent her from developing a great sensitivity for what are the fundamental themes of our culture: his poems, intimate and rough, are often a very lucid reflection on trauma, desire, nature, but also depression and isolation. The echo of a long journey of analysis is strong in her

In awarding her the Nobel Prize, the Academy of Sweden recognized "her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal". Glück's poetics are in fact like this: starting from biographical inspirations and natural suggestions, the author reflects on her personal feelings exasperated and traumatized by the world that revolves around her in a perspective that finds consolation almost exclusively in the cathartic power of poetry and 'art themselves ("Life, my sister said, / is like a torch passed now / from the body to the mind", "Life, my sister said, is like a torch now passed from body to mind"). Obsessive rhymes and repetitions, broken phrases and fragmented rhythm are formal indices of her spasmodic search for a depth that translates into a nervous and fully expressive essentiality.

It is often placed in an all-American tradition to which they belong big names like Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. But another fundamental characteristic of Glück is his tireless propensity for change, so much so that even his compositions are difficult to categorize uniquely both in style and in broader trends: "The master said 'You must write what you see' / But what I see does not move me. The master answered 'Change what you see' "(" The master said 'Write what you see', but what I saw did not move me. The master replied 'Change what you see' ").

This movement continuous must be sought in what for this poet is the founding dialectic of our universe, that between life and death, between creation and destruction: "It grieves me to think / the dead won't see them - / these things we depend on, they disappear ”(“ It pains me to think the dead won't see them, these things we depend on vanish ”). All this, then, is resolved only in a placid but not resigned acceptance: “Why love what you will lose? / There is nothing else to love "(" Why love what you will lose? Because there is nothing else you can love ").

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