Poet Laureate on Louis Gluck

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Poet Laureate Presentation: The Wild Iris

1. The use of the words I and my, and the title let us know that the speaker of the poem is the wild iris. 2. The wild iris recounts her experience of death and rebirth. The wild iris talks of rebirth or resurrection when it says, “whatever returns from oblivion returns to find a voice:” 3. The purpose of the poem is to connect human experience to the lifecycle of a wild iris, or even nature itself. Throughout the entire poem there are extremely human emotions felt by the wild iris. 4. The style of the poem is spare, or plain. Gluck uses simple words to give the poem a conversational feel to it. 5. The poem is written in free verse. The stanzas vary in length, but all have something to think about at the end. The white spaces in the poem are meant to make the reader ponder on what’s being read. 6. Even though most of the words in the poem are simple, Gluck uses two words to make the reader think deeply, oblivion and azure. These two words suddenly change the poem’s attitude into an even deeper thought. 7. “The weak sun flickered over the dry surface,” really helps the reader feel the suffering that the wild iris had to go through. The last stanza has the most detail and imagery, “from the center of my life came a great fountain, deep blue shadows on azure seawater.” This quote is appropriate to the poem’s theme by reinforcing the belief of immortality. 8. Figurative language

9. The use of retrospect in the second, third, and fourth stanzas helps the reader understand the whole poem much clearer. 10. The overall theme of the poem is transformation. The wild iris talks about its transformation through life and death, and then through rebirth. The last two stanzas provide proof of this theme by explaining what it has learned through its experiences. 11. Level 3
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