America’s most provocative intellectual brings her blazing powers of analysis and appreciation to bear on the great poems of the Western tradition, and on some unexpected discoveries of her own. Combining close reading with a panoramic breadth of learning, Camille Paglia refreshes our understanding of poems we thought we knew, from Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 73” to Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” from Donne’s “The Flea” to Lowell’s “Man and Wife,” and from Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” to Plath’s “Daddy.”
Paglia also introduces us to less-familiar works by Paul Blackburn, Wanda Coleman, Chuck Wachtel, Rochelle Kraut–and even Joni Mitchell. Daring, riveting, and beautifully written, Break, Blow, Burn will excite even seasoned poetry lovers, and create a generation of new ones.
Includes a new epilogue that details the selection process for choosing the 43 poems presented in this book and provides commentary on some of the pieces that didn't make the final cut.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Break, Blow, Burn|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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Break, Blow, Burn
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day 5
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away;
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 10
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
The sonnet was a medieval form perfected by the Italian poet Petrarch, who was inspired by the courtly love tradition of southern France. From him, the fad of sonnet writing spread throughout Renaissance Europe. Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey introduced the sonnet to England, though the style they favored was highly artificial and ridden with "conceits," showy metaphors that became clichés. Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser restored Petrarch's uid lyricism to the sonnet. But it was Shakespeare who rescued an exhausted romantic genre and made it a supple instrument of searching self-analysis. By treating the sonnet as a freestanding poem rather than a unit in a sonnet sequence, Shakespeare revolutionized poetry in the same way that Donatello, liberating the statue from i