Break, Blow, Burn by Camille Paglia
Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World's Best Poems

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Synopsis

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.

 

 




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Camille Paglia

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Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of Break, Blow, Burn; Sexual Personae; Sex, Art, and American Culture; and Vamps & Tramps. She has also written The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 274 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Break, Blow, Burn

Kirkus Reviews

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Snyder aside, the Beats get short shrift, and Paglia receives minimum points for including multicultural writers and women, although Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” appears with an extended explication, and LA poet Wanda Coleman’s tormented, feminist “Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead” also makes the cut.

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The New York Times

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Hoping to lure students into the world of poetry, Camille Paglia analyzes more than 40 short works.

Mar 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Hoping to lure students into the world of poetry, Camille Paglia analyzes more than 40 short works.

Mar 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Hoping to lure students into the world of poetry, Camille Paglia analyzes more than 40 short works.

Mar 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

Book Reporter

The dust jacket to Camille Paglia's BREAK, BLOW, BURN boasts that the famed culture critic who once penned SEXUAL PERSONAE has written a "[d]aring, erudite, entertaining" text that is "destined to become a landmark."

Dec 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

California Literary Review

They ceased focusing long ago on production of the powerful, distinctive, self-contained poem.” She goes on to say that they have lost ambition, which may mean vision, and the confidence that they can speak to their age and thus typically “treat their poems as meandering diary entries.” “To be i...

Apr 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

California Literary Review

Many famous names whom I thought would be in this book are not–because to my shock they have not, despite their great talent, produced strong, free-standing poems that deserve to be in the same book as, for example, Yeats’ classic poems.

Mar 31 2007 | Read Full Review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Pa...

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