Louise Gluck – turning trauma and pain into art

Louise Gluck, the American poet, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature to add to her Pulitzer, various other awards and her former Poet Laureate status. Regarded as one of the pre-eminent poets of the age, her poems rooted in myth and nature, are “dreamlike, chilly, enigmatic”, “relying on mood, suggestion and atmosphere and scene setting, which settings are usually dark”. In her first collection — “Firstborn” – there is a tortured array of thwarted lovers, widows, cripples and angst-ridden families. Even the robins are woebegone.  Her widely anthologized “The Drowned Children” is alarmingly matter of fact. And the poems written after the death of her father were described as “brutal and sorrow-filled.”  

  Born 22 April 1943 in New York (no birth time sadly) she became anorexic in her late teens, an effort she said to become independent from her mother and connected to the death of an elder sister before her birth and the illness dominated her twenties. She described her decision to forgo higher education in favour of therapy as necessary: “…my emotional condition, my extreme rigidity of behaviour and frantic dependence on ritual made other forms of education impossible”. She was also obsessed with death.

  She married twice but neither lasted.

  She is a Sun Taurus square Pluto with her Sun quincunx Neptune; with a Yod of Pluto sextile Neptune inconjunct Mars in Pisces with her Mars square Saturn, Venus, Uranus. That is a truly tricky mix. With a battened-down, over-controlled Sun and surges of anger and assertiveness from a stressed and volatile Mars. The nature connection would come from her Sun and Mercury in Taurus – the darkness and obsession with death from an afflicted Pluto tied into Mars and Saturn. Luckily Neptune is there to soak up the angst and channel it in creative directions.  

Her Moon is either late Scorpio or early Sagittarius and may be square her Mars and opposition her Uranus and maybe Saturn – emotionally overwrought and agitated.

  She doesn’t look overly enchanted exactly now with a high-stress set of transits to midpoints into early 2021. But in general she’s in an upbeat phase with tr Uranus conjunct her lucky Mars/Jupiter midpoint across probably this summer/autumn and repeating next spring; when she picks up a super-confident and successful tr Pluto opposition her Jupiter/Pluto midpoint. And she has her Solar Arc Sun moving to conjunct her Jupiter probably in 2021 as well which will bring her good fortune and acclaim.  Her Solar Arc Venus is also exactly conjunct her ‘leadership’ North Node in Leo now. So ups and downs with no doubt personal travails from age and general world collapse with rays of sunshine into next year.

“A Village Life”: A later poem:

In the window, the moon is hanging over the earth,
meaningless but full of messages.
It’s dead, it’s always been dead,
but it pretends to be something else,
burning like a star, and convincingly, so that you feel
it could actually make something grow on earth.

One thought on “Louise Gluck – turning trauma and pain into art

  1. Hi Marj, Using 13 events Starkman has rectified her birth time to 9:08:32 pm, Asc 19Scorpio5o, known as the
    “Accursed Degree” and her life certainlly showed this. Natal Moon 5Sg29 in the 1sh House, a Gauquelin sector
    for writers. When she received the Nobel, trans asteroid Nobel sat EXACTLY on her Asc. Her ruling planet
    Pluto is in her 9th House of Literature and explains her themes of death, healing and regeneration.

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