Read The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost by Harold Bloom Free Online
Book Title: The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost|
The author of the book: Harold Bloom
Date of issue: March 16th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780060540418
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 992 KB
Read full description of the books The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost:Poetry Man
"Talk to me some more
You don't have to go
You're the poetry man
You make things all right."
Phoebe Snow, Poetry Man, 1974
“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” Plato
This anthology of poetry in the English language covers a chronology (by each poet's date of birth) from Chaucer, born in 1343, to Hart Crane, born in 1899. For each of the 108 poets in his anthology, Harold Bloom, longtime critic and professor at Harvard & Yale, gives a fine introduction and discussions of some of the poems (widely varying in length) followed by a few or several of each poet's best poems.
Bloom also provides a 29-page introductory chapter on the Art of Reading Poetry, no easy feat. In this introduction, he makes an excellent case that "poetry at its greatest... is the true mode for expanding our consciousness" which it accomplishes by strangeness of meaning. Bloom concludes that: "The work of great poetry is to aid us to become free artists of ourselves. Even Shakespeare cannot make me into Falstaff or Hamlet, but all great poetry asks us to be possessed by it. To possess it by memory is a start, and to augment our consciousness is the goal. The art of reading poetry is an authentic training in the augmentation of consciousness...."
Below are a few passages I've included from the book:
From "The Wife of Bath's Prologue," Chaucer:"My fourthe housebonde was a revelour--
This is to seyn, he hadde a paramour--"
From "The Dunciad," Alexander Pope: In vain, in vain--the all-composing hour
Resistless falls: the Muse obeys the power.
She comes! she comes! the sable throne behold
Of Night primeval, and of Chaos old!
From "Bacchus," Ralph Waldo Emerson: Pour, Bacchus! the remembering wine;
Retrieve the loss of me and mine!
Vine for vine be antidote
And the grape requite the lote!
From "Song," Christina Rossetti: When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With shower and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T.S. Eliot: In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
From "Blue Girls," John Crowe Ransom: Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a lady with a terrible tongue,
Blear eyes fallen from blue,
All her perfections tarnished--and yet it is not long
Since she was lovelier than any of you.
Read information about the authorBloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.
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