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Break, Blow, Burn


Break, Blow, Burn Cover


Staff Pick

Camille Paglia is a top-notch analyst, and she'll introduce you to poems, poets, and ideas for how to see the written word in new and exciting ways.
Recommended by the Humanities Team, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

America’s most provocative intellectual brings her blazing powers of analysis and appreciation to bear on the great poems of the Western tradition, and on some unexpected discoveries of her own. Combining close reading with a panoramic breadth of learning, Camille Paglia refreshes our understanding of poems we thought we knew, from Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 73” to Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” from Donne’s “The Flea” to Lowell’s “Man and Wife,” and from Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” to Plath’s “Daddy.”

 Paglia also introduces us to less-familiar works by Paul Blackburn, Wanda Coleman, Chuck Wachtel, Rochelle Kraut–and even Joni Mitchell. Daring, riveting, and beautifully written, Break, Blow, Burn will excite even seasoned poetry lovers, and create a generation of new ones.

 Includes a new epilogue that details the selection process for choosing the 43 poems presented in this book and provides commentary on some of the pieces that didn't make the final cut.





About the Author

Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson; Sex, Art, and American Culture; and Vamps & Tramps: New Essays. She has also written The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock. She lives in Philadelphia.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents


1. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

2. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

3. William Shakespeare, The Ghost's Speech

4. John Donne, “The Flea”

5. John Donne, Holy Sonnet I

6. John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV

7. George Herbert, “Church-monuments”

8. George Herbert, “The Quip”

9. George Herbert, “Love”

10. Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”

11. William Blake, “The Chimney Sweeper”

12. William Blake, “London”

13. William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us”

14. William Wordsworth, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”

15. Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”

16. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”

17. Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

18. Emily Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”

19. Emily Dickinson, “Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers”

20. Emily Dickinson, “The Soul Selects Her Own Society”

21. William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”

22. William Butler Yeats, “Leda and the Swan”

23. Wallace Stevens, “Disillusionment of Ten OClock”

24. Wallace Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar”

25. William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow”

26. William Carlos Williams, “This Is Just to Say”

27. Jean Toomer, “Georgia Dusk”

28. Langston Hughes, “Jazzonia”

29. Theodore Roethke, “Cuttings”

30. Theodore Roethke, “Root Cellar”

31. Theodore Roethke, “The Visitant”

32. Robert Lowell, “Man and Wife”

33. Sylvia Plath, “Daddy”

34. Frank OHara, “A Mexican Guitar”

35. Paul Blackburn, “The Once-Over”

36. May Swenson, “At East River”

37. Gary Snyder, “Old Pond”

38. Norman H. Russell, “The Tornado”

39. Chuck Wachtel, “A Paragraph Made Up of Seven Sentences”

40. Rochelle Kraut, “My Makeup”

41. Wanda Coleman, “Wanda Why Arent You Dead?”

42. Ralph Pomeroy, “Corner”

43. Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”

Biographical Notes




Product Details

Paglia, Camille
Vintage Books USA
American poetry
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
English poetry
Literary Criticism : General
poetry;literary criticism;criticism;anthology;essays;non-fiction;literature;poetry anthology
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.78x5.66x.70 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

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Product details 304 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375725395 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Camille Paglia is a top-notch analyst, and she'll introduce you to poems, poets, and ideas for how to see the written word in new and exciting ways.

"Synopsis" by , US
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