New York: The New American Library, 1968. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's light gray cloth over ash gray cloth, spine stamped in blue, rose endpapers, original printed dust jacket.
"The year turns. The wolf takes back her tit / As war eats at the empire / Past this waxworks, the eternal city. / We have had our round...." First edition of 2020 Nobel Prize-winner Louise Glück's debut collection. Arranged in three parts and employing a variety of personae, Glück’s dense and disaffected verses divided critics upon publication. While some praised the poet for her probing precision and technical control, others perceived her pinched tone and gruesome content as overwrought. When it was reprinted in the 1980s, Glück all but orphaned her premier publication, claiming that she only felt an "embarrassed tenderness" toward the volume. The collection nevertheless set the stage for what would become an illustrious career, leading to her being considered one of the most prominent and talented poets in contemporary American letters. "Glück’s poems...take readers on an inner journey by exploring their deepest, most intimate feelings. Glück’s ability to create poetry that many people can understand, relate to, and experience intensely and completely stems from her deceptively straightforward language and poetic voice" (www.poetryfoundation.org). Stated first printing. Light rubbing to corners, trace of dampstaining along bottom edges of boards; unclipped dust jacket lightly soiled, with minor edgewear and faint dampstaining along bottom edges. Very good. Item #5205