Averno: Poems [Louise Glück] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the ancient. The poet Louise Glück journeys into the underworld of Greek myth to explore LAGO D’AVERNO (Avernus in Latin) is a volcanic crater lake. Averno is Louise Glück’s eleventh collection of poetry published in by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was a National Book Award Finalist for Poetry that year.

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Return to Book Page. Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld. Averno is an extended lamentation Averno is a small crater lake in southern Italy, regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld.

Averno is an extended lamentation, its long, restless poems no less spellbinding for being without conventional resoltution or consolation, no less ravishing for being savage, grief-stricken.

What Averno provides is not a map to a point of arrival or departure, but a diagram of where we are, the harrowing, enduring present. Paperback79 pages. Published February 6th by Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Avernoplease sign up.

Read of the Week: Averno by Louise Glück

Lists with This Book. Sep 01, Nicola rated it it was amazing. Keep trying to understand why it has such a vulnerable authority, like someone wielding a louisr then using it to offer you a piece of fruit.

A voice poised between challenge and cowering, distance and closeness, indifference and intimacy. But Gluck often undermines these dichotomies or, at least, subverts them: And for a book based on avernno myth of Persephone and, thus, on the earth and the underworld, there is so much mention of sky.

This seems a subversion as well. This disorientation feels somehow purposeful, as though we, like Persephone, despite Zeus’ promise to allow her to “forget” her passage, half-remember the place between extremes. To quote from “Prism” again: These brutal lines especially: Mar 05, beau rated it it was amazing Shelves: Luise Louise Gluck 1. Who can say what the world is? The world is in flux, therefore unreadable, the winds shifting, the great plates invisibly shifting and changing- 2.


Fragments of blistered rock. On which the exposed heart constructs a house, memory: As one takes in an enemy, through these windows one takes in the world: I am master here.

When you fall in love, lohise sister said, Prism Louise Gluck 1.

When you fall in love, my sister said, it’s like being struck by lightning. She was speaking hopefully, to draw the attention of the lightning.

I reminded her that she was repeating exactly our mother’s formula, which she and I had discussed in childhood, because we both felt that what we were looking at in the adults were the effects not fluck lightning but of the electric chair.

Why was my mother happy? She married my father 6.

Another was, “There is no one like your father. From the pierced clouds, steady lines of silver. Unlikely yellow of the witch hazel, veins of mercury that loyise the paths of the rivers- Then the rain again, erasing footprints in the damp earth. An implied path, like a map without a crossroads. The implication was, it was necessary to abandon childhood.

The word avegno was a signal. You could also treat it as aesthetic advice; the voice of the child was tiresome, it had no lower register. The word was a code, mysterious, like the Rosetta stone. It was also a roadsign, a warning. You could take a few things with you like a dowry.

You glucl take the part of you that thought. A night in summer. Outside, sounds of a summer storm. Then the sky clearing. In the window, constellations of summer. I’m in a bed. This man and I, we are suspended in the strange glhck sex often induces.

Longing, what is that? Desire, what is that? Once, I could name them. The light of the mind. The cold, exacting fires of disinterestedness, curiously blocked by earth, coherent, glittering in air and water, the elaborate signs that said now plant, now, harvest- I could name them, I had names for them: When I was a child, I suffered from insomnia.

Summer nights, my parents permitted me to sit by the lake; Louose took the dog for company. Did I say “suffered”?

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That was my parents’ way of explaining tastes that seemed to them inexplicable: Silence that annulled mortality. The tethered boats rising and falling. When the moon was full, I could sometimes read the girls’ names painted to the sides of the boats: There was nothing to be learned from them.

I spread my jacket in the damp sand, the dog curled up beside me. My parents couldn’t see the lift: Sounds of the lake. The soothing, inhuman sounds of water lapping the dock, the dog scuffling somewhere in the weeds- The assignment was to fall in love. The details were up to you. The second part was to include in the poem certain words, words drawn from a specific text on another subject altogether.

Spring rain, then a night in summer. A man’s voice, then a woman’s voice.

You grew up, you were struck by lightning. When you opened your eyes, you were wired forever to your true love.

Averno by Louise Glück

It only happened once. Then you were taken care of, your story was finished. Being struck was like being vaccinated; the rest of your life you were immune, you were warm and dry. Unless the shock wasn’t deep enough.

Then you weren’t vaccinated, you were addicted. The author was female. The ego had to be called the soul. The action took place in the body. Stars represented everything else: The beloved was identified with avrrno self in a narcissistic projection. The mind was a subplot. It went nattering on. Time was experienced less as narrative than ritual. What was repeated had weight. Certain endings were tragic, thus acceptable.

Read of the Week: Averno by Louise Glück – The Reader Blog

Everything else was failure. Embellishments we call hypotheses- There were too many roads, too many versions. There were too many roads, no one path- And at the end? List the implications of “crossroads.