Harold Bloom

Excellence in Student Writing: Katharine Sell

February 10, 2014
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The poem’s argues that order can be found and already exists among the chaos of nature, but that it takes the individual’s artistic craft to create meaning to make the order’s presence known and evident.

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“What Becomes of Us as We Read?”: Ashbery and Ethical Criticism

January 13, 2014
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What are some reasons why we read poetry? Why turn to a poem over a novel, a play, a philosophical treatise?

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On Gene Tanta’s “Critical Introduction to Unusual Woods.”

October 30, 2010
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Even though both the form and content of Gene Tanta’s work are particular to his Romanian-immigrant experience, he insists that his poetry is accessible to everyone. His poetry, he says, exists both as aesthetic objects and political propaganda. This is absolutely true about all poetry, not just his own. Inevitably, literary criticism will come to see that literature is always both.

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The Inward Soul: Dickinson and St. Theresa of Avila

October 5, 2010
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There is an inwardness so vast, so total, that it has a true integrity—not the pretentiousness of artistic temper, not the vanity of professional mysticism, not the neurosis of social anxiety disorder, but a forthrightness, an honorable, hourly withdrawal from the world that seems, for lack of a better word—ecstatic.

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Paparazzi

March 20, 2010

“When we define the Photograph as a motionless image, this does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means that they do not emerge, do not leave: they are anesthetized and fastened down, like butterflies.”

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Seventeen Years Ago Last March: Elizabeth Bishop’s Grand Finale

March 6, 2010
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‘Crusoe in England’ was first published in The New Yorker in 1971, then later collected in ‘Geography III,’ perhaps Bishop’s finest single volume of poems. (Only recently I discovered the title of which was suggested to her by John Ashbery. He had found a little geography textbook of the eponymous name, and sent it to her, thinking she’d rather enjoy it. Turns out, she did.)

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