cover image Winter Recipes from the Collective

Winter Recipes from the Collective

Louise Glück. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25 (64p) ISBN 978-0-374-60410-3

"Everything is change," Glück (Faithful and Virtuous Night) writes early in her quiet but powerful first work since being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2020. An overarching philosophy—"Also everything returns, but what returns is not/what went away"—drives the collection, with Glück’s speaker standing at the precipice of great change, as though facing a coming winter. Glück considers a primary human loneliness in humane, reflective poems that are deeply engaged with the idea of being alone with oneself: "There is no one alive anymore/ who remembers me as a baby," Glück mourns. But as she looks back on her life––hard work, loss, some joy––she also looks forward. Not toward an afterlife, necessarily, but toward a place of peace: a "house in the distance, smoke is coming from its chimney." Death, these poems purport, is inevitable, but one need not be afraid: "All hope is lost," she claims; "We must return to where it was lost/ if we want to find it again." With this magnificent collection, a great poet delivers a treatise on how to live and die. (Oct.)