Break, Blow, Burn
ISBN 13: 9780375420849
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Publication Date: 2005
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Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World’s Best Poems is destined to become a landmark. In it, America’s premier intellectual provocateur explores and celebrates a series of great poems of the Western tradition, including some surprising discoveries of her own. She brings new energy and insight to our understanding of poems we already know, such as masterpieces by Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley, Dickinson, Lowell, and Plath. She leads us to appreciate the artistry of writers with whom we may not be familiar, such as Chuck Wachtel and Wanda Coleman. And she hails the songwriter Joni Mitchell as a major contemporary poet.
Daring, erudite, entertaining, and infused throughout with Paglia’s inimitable style and passion, this beautifully written book––and the dazzling mind behind it––will entice readers to begin or renew a passionate engagement with poetry.
"Cultural guru and academic prophet Paglia offers a series of close, brief, and beautifully lucid readings of 43 poems, all written in English and most squarely within the canon....An indisputably terrific primer for all students of literature in English."
"This book is the latest shot in [Paglia's] campaign to save culture from theory. It thus squares well with another of her aims, to rescue feminism from its unwise ideological allegiances. So in the first instance BREAK, BLOW, BURN is about poetry, and in the second it is about Camille Paglia....From this book you could doubt several aspects of her taste in poetry. But you couldn't doubt her love of it. She is humble enough to be enthralled by it; enthralled enough to be inspired; and inspired enough to write the sinuous and finely shaded prose that proves how a single poem can get the whole of her attention....I she doesn't make a poem sound like something dangerous, at least she makes it sound like something complicated. Students grown wary of pabulum might relish the nitty-gritty."
Clive James, New York Times Book Review, 03/27/2005
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Break, Blow, Burn (ISBN: 0375420843 / 0-375-42084-3)
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Break Blow Burn Camille Paglia Reads Forty Three of the Worlds Best Poems (ISBN: 9780375420849)
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