Break, Blow, Burn

Break, Blow, Burn

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.

America’s most provocative intellectual brings her blazing powers of analysis to the most famous poems of the Western tradition—and unearths some previously obscure verses worthy of a place in our canon. Combining close reading with a panoramic breadth of learning, Camille Paglia sharpens our understanding of poems we thought we knew, from Shakespeare to Dickinson to Plath, and makes a case for including in the canon works by Paul Blackburn, Wanda Coleman, Chuck Wachtel, Rochelle Kraut—and even Joni Mitchell. Daring, riveting, and beautifully written, Break, Blow, Burn is a modern classic that excites even seasoned poetry lovers—and continues to create generations of new ones. 

Baker & Taylor
Celebrates the great poetry of the Western tradition, looking at diverse works by poets ranging from Shakespeare and Dickinson to Plath, Hughes, and other unconventional poets.

& Taylor

An iconoclastic intellectual and author of Sexual Personae celebrates the great poetry of the Western tradition as she looks at diverse works by poets ranging from Shakespeare and Dickinson to Plath, Hughes, and other unconventional poets. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2006
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780375725395
Branch Call Number: 808.81 BRE
Characteristics: xvii, 247 p. ; 21 cm


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Jul 01, 2016

I completely enjoyed reading BREAK BLOW BURN! Camille Paglia is such a skilled and playful writer, that her mini-essays on each of the forty-three selections stand as works of analytic art on their own.

Paglia sheds new light on poems I've been reading forever, like "Ozymandias" by Shelley, "Daddy" by Plath, and "Root Cellar" by Roethke, and poems I had yet to discover, like "This Is Just To Say" by William Carlos Williams, and "Cuttings" by Roethke. The longest essay, devoted to Sylvia Plath, is 10 pages long. This is great for quick bite-sized reading sessions, or in big gobs if you're just crazy and love poetry. 5 stars.

Jun 23, 2016

I really enjoyed this book and found it enlightening, and a bit provocative. There are forty-two poems she writes short (two to six pages) expository essays about. No concluding chapter, but it does have a section giving biographical paragraphs of the poets featured. I wish there were more books like this.

Dec 10, 2012

This book is an insight into Camille Paglia's literary taste and teaching style. Pretty interesting, enjoyable, and provocative (like always).


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