Stand-Up Vampire

Gillian White

  • Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück
    Farrar, Straus, 634 pp, £30.00, November 2012, ISBN 978 0 374 12608 7

The difference between ‘selected’ and ‘collected’ poems, Wallace Stevens wrote in a letter in 1954, is that ‘people read selected poems but don’t buy them’ and ‘buy collected poems but don’t read them’. The symbolism of a collected volume worried him: ‘A book that contains everything that one has done in a lifetime does not reassure one. Then, the fact that I am 75 begins to seem like the most serious thing that has ever happened to me.’

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