When Hades decided he loved this girl
Everything the same, including sunlight,
Louise Gluck at Academy of American Poets
Louise Gluck at Poetry Foundation
Louise Gluck at Modern American Poetry
Interview by Grace Cavalieri
I was a lonely child. My interactions with the world as a social being were unnatural, forced, performances, and I was happiest reading. Well, it wasn’t all that sublime, I watched a lot of television and ate a lot of food, too. But, when I read, I felt that—especially when I read poems—I felt that the voices on the page, William Blake and T. S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats, were my companions. I felt that they were my—not just my teachers—I felt, these are the people I would be able to talk to. They’re talking to me. My early writing was an attempt at communication with them, a response to them. ... And I think that most writers feel some sense that dialogue with the dead. And when people ask, what do you want, what kind of response do you want to your work, what I want is for Blake to come down from heaven and say, “Louise, you did a very good job.” That’s what I want. And fortunately, I have Blake surrogates who are alive, and their fastidious attention helps me—proves that effort is not wasted, that there are ears that receive. And you want to be such an ear yourself. I think it’s not possible to be a writer without being that kind of instrument for other people.