Since Ararat in 1990, Louise Gluck has been exploring a form that is, according to poet Robert Hass, her invention. Vita Nova-- like its immediate predecessors, a booklength sequence -- combines the ecstatic utterance of The Wild Iris with the worldly dramas elaborated in Meadowlands. Vita Nova is a book that exists in the long moment of spring: a book of deaths and beginnings, resignation and hope; brutal, luminous, and farseeing. Like late Yeats, Vita Nova dares large statement. By turns stern interlocutor and ardent novitiate, Gluck compasses the essential human paradox. In Vita Nova, Louise Gluck manages the apparently impossible: a terrifying act of perspective that brings into resolution the smallest human hope and the vast forces that shape and thwart it.
This books filled that bill, but not the way I really expected it to. The poems focused on the first person, and the narrator's journey, both inner and outer. This is a book that'll bear re-reading. All the poems spoke to me, but I couldn't always make out the message.