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American Women Poets 1650-1950 (Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

This quantity gathers jointly what Harold Bloom considers the easiest feedback at the valuable American girls poets. tested is the paintings of Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Marianne Moore, and Louise Bogan. This name, American girls Poets (16501950), a part of Chelsea apartment Publishers’ sleek severe perspectives sequence, examines the key works of yank ladies Poets (1650-1950) via full-length serious essays by means of professional literary critics. moreover, this name encompasses a brief biography on American girls Poets (1650-1950), a chronology of the author’s existence, and an introductory essay written by means of Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale college.

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The poem is an assault. It does not declare the independence of immanent language from divine decree, but rather asserts divine decree only to attack, defame, and denounce it. The poem thus stands poised between apostasy and affirmation—a poise that is, however, unstable and combative. There is no trace here of a timid Dickinson. The attack is frontal. And it is a linguistic attack, both as an assault through poetry and as a poem in which defiant human language strives against, but remains facing, the divine Word.

The poem asks for the belief of the mountains in the “I” who usurps Christ’s role but adopts a diametrically opposite position, beneath the hill as Christ was at its summit. This “wayward nun” is, moreover, at once savior and worshipper. In the first stanza, the “I” undergoes trials of faith as she plays the part of defiant actor. ”) She performs in these ways, the second stanza recounts, for the sake of the strong “Madonnas” whom she addresses as “My,” thus making her the daughter of the savior’s mother—Christ’s sister forming an alternative religion of the mother: “Whose service—is to You—,” rather than of the son.

In presenting this image of inner strife, however, Dickinson does so in terms provided by the world outside her. The poem was written in 1862: the very period when Antietam and Bull Run had begun to reveal fully the horrors of the Civil War. There are in Dickinson’s opus many poems that register, directly or indirectly, the civil conflagration raging around her. The notion that Dickinson’s morbid fear of death and preoccupation with suffering may not have been entirely the product of her own idiosyncratic and more or less pathological imagination has never been considered.

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