A lot of the discussion on the blog and Faithful and Virtuous Night centers around absence, as Graham said: silence v. sound, emptiness v. space, which leads to the main exploration of the work: death v. life. Death is usually defined as the absence of life (pretty sure I just quoted Tom Stoppard from Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), but it’s fascinating how Glück characterizes emptiness through heaviness, which seems ironic. For example, in “The Story of a Day,” Glück writes, “The air had become heavy,/ not because it had greater substance/ but because there was nothing left to breathe” (62). Usually, emptiness is defined as weightlessness: nothing being there. But the person in this situation seems to be overflowing with air, not being able to breathe anymore like living so much that you can’t live anymore. I guess when I first read that passage I thought that it meant the air had nothing, but the air does not change: the breather does. I don’t know what the conclusion is supposed to be to this, but it feels that when we feel absence inside of us that we realize the weight of what we’re missing. So, if death is the absence of life in someone like air gone from a balloon, where does life (air) go when we pop or deflate? What is the meaning and weight of lie pressing on us if death is devoid of it? Where does the air/life go when all is said and done? Louise Glück does a brilliant job of navigating the confusing labyrinth of death and all its questions, approaching all the possibilities of the mystery with the finality as it affects the subject with simple yet incredibly profound language.