The Wild Iris

The Wild Iris - Louise Glück

I love the way “The Wild Iris” is soothing yet thought-provoking. It has the right balance of nature imagery which begins lulling the reader to sleep while slipping in some insightful questions and thoughts at the right moments which not only act as a jolting wake up but get the thought process going. The structure of the collection is its strength, I think, with every poem that is titled after a plant/flower acting like nature is communicating with the reader, while the Matins and Vespers are good fillers that give the human side a chance to speak and show its vulnerability. Poems such as “Early Darkness” and “Retreating Light” were great examples of the balance that occurs in this book, as well as the voice that transcends nature to a degree and allows for the higher forces to speak, the seasons and time having their own voice and insights which I thought were all valid, relatable, and at times had a very humorous condescending edge that I could relate to.


My only issue, and the reason why I deducted a star, was because at times I caught myself thinking that the poems sounded more like prose in verse form. I could see the imagery, the personification and enjambment, as well as the good use of punctuation, but sometimes it was easy to get lost in the pleasant tone of the writing and wonder just to what degree one could classify this as ‘poetry’. However that is an ambiguous topic, as well as one I don’t think is too big a deal when it comes to this collection, or to Gluck in general, because I have fallen under the spell of her writing and become a big fan. She writes with such ease and relatability, and there is always something light and airy with a hidden bite in her words that I love most.