This comprehensive anthology attempts to give the common reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The book features a large introductory essay by Harold Bloom called "The Art of Reading Poetry," which presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to the reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves most. In the case of all major poets in the language, this volume offers either the entire range of what is most valuable in their work, or vital selections that illuminate each figure′s contribution. There are also headnotes by Harold Bloom to every poet in the volume as well as to the most important individual poems. Much more than any other anthology ever gathered, this book provides readers who desire the pleasures of a sublime art with very nearly everything they need in a single volume. It also is regarded as his final meditation upon all those who have formed his mind.… (more)
Though arranged chronologically, this vast book is intended for every kind of personal use, so that literary history is essentially irrelevant to its purposes, as are all considerations of political correctness and incorrectness. [Introduction]
Poetry is essentially figurative language, concentrated so that its form is both expressive and evocative.
The commodious, tall decorum of that sky / Unseals her earth, and lifts love in its shower.