“The Wild Iris” opens Louise Glück’s sixth poetry collection of the same name, The Wild Iris (1992). This collection, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, takes place in a garden and interweaves three different voices: those of the gardener, an omniscient godlike figure, and the plants that make up the garden. “The Wild Iris” provides the collection’s first example of a poem with a personified botanical speaker. This speaker directly addresses a human audience using the second-person pronoun, “you.” They may be speaking to the gardener who tends to them, though in a larger sense they’re also addressing humans in general. The wild iris meditates specifically on the subject of death. Whereas humans tend to think of death as an absolute ending to life, the speaker offers a contrasting view from their distinct botanical perspective. Instead of being the end of life, the speaker has personally experienced death as one part of a larger cycle of transformation. After a period of being “buried in the dark earth” (line 10), they eventually pushed back up to the surface and “return[ed] from oblivion” (line 19). Death is thus a form of rebirth, which may make it easier for humans to accept with serenity.