“I couldn’t bear the endless forfeits [painting] involved.”

In her youth, Glück painted which, in her essay “Education of the Poet,” she describes as “a small gift.” To this she adds, “Small but, like my other aptitudes, relentlessly developed. At some point in my late teens I realized I was at the end of what I could imagine on canvas.  I think that had my gift been larger or more compelling, I would still have found the visual arts a less congenial language…. What is edited can be preserved.  Whereas the painter who recognized that, in the interest of the whole, a part must be sacrificed, loses that part forever… I couldn’t bear the endless forfeits this involved; or perhaps I lacked sufficient confidence in my immediate judgments.”

Awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature, “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” Glück’s 13 volumes of poetry, previously garnered, among other awards, the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollinger Prize for lifetime achievement, and the honor of serving as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2003 to 2004. Her work includes Poems 1962-2012, Faithful and Virtuous Night, and the essay collections Proofs and Theories (1994) and American Originality (2017).

louise gluck

Here, from her personal collection, is an oil on canvas, an undated, untitled still life she deemed worthy of preservation and which she lent to the 2007 exhibitions held at Anita Shapolsky (NY) and Pierre Menard (Cambridge) Galleries.

And, of course, check out The Writer’s Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers for more than 400 plates of artwork by great writers and the stories behind them.

The Writer's Brush

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