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America’s most provocative intellectual brings her blazing powers of analysis to the most famous poems of the Western tradition—and unearths. Break, Blow, Burn By Camille Paglia. pp. Pantheon Books. $ CLEARLY designed as a come-on for bright students who don’t yet know. CLEARLY designed as a come-on for bright students who don’t yet know very much about poetry, Camille Paglia’s new book anthologizes

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Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I enjoy listening to Camille Paglia speak but I do think she can say what she intends to say in fewer words. So in the first instance ”Break, Blow, Burn” is about poetry, and in the second it is about Camille Paglia. All in all, this is one of the most useful books on poetry I’ve ever paflia.

The main thing the book provided me was the impression that, if someone as smart as Paglia would spend over pages analyzing lyric poetry, then perhaps writing lyric poetry is not so trivial a thing after all. No matter what your job was during the day, there was a sense of the made object.

She seems to enjoy being alone. What she says makes sense! Until very recently, from Samuel Johnson to the advent of modern politico-criticism, this has always been the approach to poetry.

Herbert italicizes his inner voice ” But thou shalt answer, Lord, for me ” because it’s unheard — or rather heard only by the reader. Paglia does a lot to bring it back, but she might have done even more. What is it they say about the aspirational nature of readership?!

Break, Blow, Burn by Camille Paglia – PopMatters

In earlier works like her masterpiece, Sexual PersonaePaglia’s voice was staccato, purple, echoing Wilde and Walter Pater. This poem would be explosive in performance, with the poet’s grumpy, sarcastic persona barreling through hindrances, then pausing a beat before bursting free.


She gets Herbert’s dense, gloomy “Church-monuments” just right but his much-admired “Love III ” badly wrong, turning a pellucid lyric of agape into an unrecognizable “languid, hypnotic” drama of birn and penetration.

NOR does Paglia’s useful conviction that feminism, as an ideology, is cwmille debilitating for individual responsibility as any other ideology make it true that women are now out of the woods. I maintain that the text emphatically exists as an object; it is not just a mist of ephemeral subjectivities.

My main issue with her commentary is that she has serious issues with sex and God. The devices of blwo, its craft and technique and themes, are consistent, recurrent and, in essence, the same in Homer’s day as in the time of Yeats.

Thus, when we have explained the poem, we have not explained it. It implies, by default, rationality, and it’s never been the poet’s assignment to reason through experience as if he or she were a scientist trying to classify and categorize the world about them.

Poetry is the language laglia unreason, another way of taking the pulse of the culture as seen from the particular and individual poet’s voice who lives within and yet is compelled to view it askew. This coolly enthusiastic emphasis shows up clearly in her detailed admiration for Emily Dickinson.

Camile Paglia published her collection I’d said some rude things about Camille Paglia’s reemergence as a regular columnist at Salon. As for Wilbur, his fastidiously carpentered postwar poems were part of the American liberation of Europe. Of course, as with all “Best of But the haranguing voices, with their multiple points apglia view, gradually sketch her ghost portrait, like a shimmering hologram. According to Paglia, gun abuse is a quirk of the sexually dysfunctional.

When the book moves toward modern times, it moves toward America. Bursts with her ingenuity. The Best Metal of This was a great read. Apr 11, Bob rated it really liked it Shelves: Unlike other reviewers who This book is a real refreshment — a shower of [mostly; I could have done without “Woodstock”: Paglia surmounts that problem by comparing the poems she’s chosen to one another, even when such comparisons may not be what the poets had in mind. New Criticism was in its paglis last stage when I was in college in the mids, and I detested it for its claustrophobic exclusions.


I’m there in most of my books; boy am I there. The term ”a poem” is one we have to use, because our author is strong on the point that a poet should be measured by individual poems, and not by pagkia ”body of. Paglia, too, has a kind of solitude, though it might not sound that way. From this book you could doubt several aspects of her taste in poetry.

Break, Blow, Burn

We are experiencing technical difficulties. I read with trepidation the introductory sentence “I have tried to write concise commentaries on poetry that illuminate the text but also give pleasure in themselves as pieces of writing. Alfred rated it really liked it. Sunday, April 3, For committed writers in any genre including nonfictionwriting is an approach to the world, a way of life.

Students expecting a poem by Maya Angelou will find that this book is less inclusive than the average lineup for Inauguration Day.

Even they, if they were honest enough to admit it, might need help with the occasional Latin phrase, and they will find her analysis of burj poems quite taxing enough in its upper reaches. A relative bumpkin in the exquisitely meticulous world of poetry, I need not remind others these works deserve close consideration and multiple readings before plunging into Paglia’s commentary.

She touches on the crux of my personal dilemma by contrasting the poems created for the stage vs. Dec 18, Pages Buy.