National Book Award for Poetry- Faithful and Virtuous Night


  • Who: National Book Foundation
  • What: to recognize outstanding literary work by US citizens
  • When: 1950
  • Categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult, poetry, translation
  • Prize: winner gets $10,000 and a bronze medal; all finalists win $1,000 and a medal
  • Other winners:


I chose a book of poetry because if you didn’t know from an earlier post, I’ve expanded my reading choices to include poetry. Louise Gluck, the author of Faithful and Virtuous Night, has also won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, a Nobel Prize in Literature, and has been a US Poet Laureate.

It doesn’t take long to get through all the poems in this book. She uses the word “mist” a lot and uses trees as symbolism. Once you read about 3 poems you know what the underlying theme is so I’m not going to say what it is. I used to think a book of poetry was just random poems put together. Now, I can see how the poems can revolve around a specific theme, and then are put together to create a larger picture. It’s like mini stories building up to one big story. I would say read some of the poems multiple times if you are so inclined. When it’s short it can be hard to grasp everything, or even enjoy it as much. Overall, it was a very nice book of poetry. I enjoyed the poems in the last half the best, but the beginning is just as important, because it sets up the trajectory of the story that is being told along the way.

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