Also of notable poetry

Louise Glück, The Taliban, Adrienne Rich, David Ferry

Poems 1962–2012

by Louise Glück (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $40)The publication of this career-spanning collection from Louise Glück is “a major event in this country’s literature, perhaps this year’s most major,” said Dwight Garner in The New York Times. Glück’s “exacting free verse” has no parallel. The 11 previous collections gathered here “have a great novel’s cohesiveness and raking moral intensity.” Her best poems, including those from 1990’s Ararat, are “confessional and a bit wild, but also intellectually formidable.”

Poetry of the Taliban

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(Columbia, $25)

“Among other things,” Afghanistan is “a nation of poets,” said Anna Badkhen in The New Republic. The 200 poems that editors Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn have gathered in this daring volume “reflect the chauvinistic and sentimental heart” of the Taliban movement and “reveal no Afghan literary giants.” Yet Westerners should make a point of reading these verses. “The rage, the frustration, the sense of wounded honor they express reflect the feelings of most Afghans.”

Later Poems

by Adrienne Rich (Norton, $40)

Adrienne Rich, who died in March at 82, was a poet who “tuned herself, like a musical instrument, to the pleas and the battle cries of movements and crowds,” said Stephen Burt in the San Francisco Chronicle. Rich was such a mighty champion of causes, from organized labor to women’s and LGBT rights, “that her descriptive powers got ignored.” This collection of her late work highlights “how careful, how unpredictable, and how introspective this most outspoken of poets could become.”


by David Ferry (Univ. of Chicago, $18)

Only in poetry is it possible for a National Book Award winner to be overlooked, said Jonathan Farmer in David Ferry’s “astonishing” recent collection deserves wider attention. It’s a book in which ghosts continually make their presence felt. Ferry mixes in translations, new poems, scraps of old ones, and the poems of a dead friend. This book “reminds us how real the past was, and how urgent (and yes, bewildering) it remains if remembered well.”

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