The Louise Glück reading yesterday was quite good, and well-attended. I haven't read Averno yet, but after hearing her read from it I've decided I definitely need to pick it up soon. She read only from Averno, about 40 minutes I guess, then took questions for a little while. Someone asked her what she'd learned from being Poet Laureate, and I guess it wasn't exactly a good experience for her. Heh. Someone else asked her about her work on the Yale Series, and she was much less cranky about that; it sounds like that is work she genuinely enjoys.
Just hearing the work aloud, not having read it yet, was interesting -- I think I hear poems differently when I have not previously encountered them on the page vs. when I have. Something about the poems she read made me think of Carl Phillips' work -- that there was a similar sort of intelligence and thought-to-language process at work. The classical influence, partly, but something more than that. I'll file that in the back of my brain for potential critical-paper-fodder should I ever manage to get myself into an MFA program.
(Edited to add: I almost forgot to mention that she said when she started writing one of the poems in Averno -- I think it was "Landscape" -- it was the first poem she'd written in two years. For some reason I found it comforting to think that she has long dry spells just like the rest of us.)
This draft actually came, in part, from random notes I jotted down during the reading. I think it needs a different title, and I think the language itself needs to be doing more work -- the words here feel too ordinary to me and I want to find words that are more energetic and unusual. The language itself needs to be part of the risk the poem takes. (This is something I need to work on in general.) So this is kind of an outline or a sketch, in a way, as much as a draft. But there's something about it I like enough to keep working on it. To that end, the draft will disappear from this blog in a day or so.
*poof!* draft is gone. thanks to those who commented. :)