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Analysis and comments on Nostos by Louise Gluck

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Comment 1 of 7, added on March 9th, 2006 at 6:33 PM.

Gluck employs the Greek word, "nostos," meaning going home for this poem
about memory. Through her mind's eye she muses about an apple tree that had
been in the yard forty years before, about the meadows behind the tree, the
crocus in the grass, and the spring flowers in her neighbor's yard. After
Gluck questions whether or not the tree actually flowered on her birthday,
she states, "Substitution of the immutable for the shifting, the evolving.
Substitution of the image for the relentless earth." The poet understands
that "We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory." That
which we believed to be true, that we knew to be true, has been irrevocably
altered by time and the inexorable changes that have taken place are the
"shifting, the evolving, . . .the relentless earth." What is left is
nostos, our memory of home and the nostalgic feeling that comes when we do
return home. But truth? Ah, that is bound up in memory.

Geri Bloch from United States

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Information about Nostos

Poet: Louise Gluck
Poem: Nostos
Volume: Meadowlands
Year: 1996
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 78 times

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