American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom

American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom

by Harold Bloom, Jesse Zuba

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
To his long eminence as a poetry critic, Yale professor Bloom has more recently added the mantles of expert in comparative religion (Jesus and Yahweh, 2005) and all-around literary sage (Genius, 2003). This expansive anthology takes advantage of all three Bloomian reputations, gathering verse on Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Native American spiritual, Transcendentalist and even agnostic themes, from 17th-century European colonists (one poet is Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island) to up-and-comers in contemporary verse. Pious readers will have no trouble finding high-quality poetry that confirms their beliefs from the monk Thomas Merton, the Anglican T.S. Eliot, the Jewish liturgical poet Esther Schor and the Louisiana-based Christian poet Martha Serpas. Yet from the 19th century to the present, from the decidedly heterodox Emily Dickinson forwards, the anthology often highlights the ways in which American spirituality has challenged all doctrines about who God is and what God does. Herman Melville speculates about the eternal feud between "ape and angel"; John Ashbery's "The Recital" tells us not to care "whether prayers were answered with concrete events," and the Libyan-born Khaled Mattawa questions Islamic custom. More than half of the book is taken up by 20th-century poets, who offer varied takes on what religion has come to mean in America. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Library of America
Publication date:
Library of America Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.44(h) x 1.34(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

One of our most popular, respected, and controversial literary critics, Yale University professor Harold Bloom¿s books ¿ about, variously, Shakespeare, the Bible, and the classic literature ¿ are as erudite as they are accessible.

Brief Biography

New York, New York and New Haven, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
July 11, 1930
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A., Cornell University, 1951; Ph.D., Yale University, 1955

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