cover image Ararat


Louise Glueck. Ecco Press, $17.95 (68pp) ISBN 978-0-88001-247-8

A ruthlessly probing family portrait in verse, Gluck's sixth poetry collection confronts, with devastating irony, her father's hollow life and her mother's inability to express emotion. This might seem like a daughter's belated rebellion, except that these fierce, rock-strong, deeply felt lyrics are steeled by love and understanding. The stuff of private pyschodrama is here: a withdrawn, too-obedient child's self-denial engendered by a sibling rivalry; the shattering death of an infant sister; learning to forgive her parents, to love her son. Gluck (whose last book, The Triumph of Achilles , won a National Book Critics Circle Award) transforms these domestic materials into an act of naked self-confrontation in heartrendingly beautiful, uncompromising poems. (Apr.)