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Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems
     

Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems

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by Harold Bloom
 

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“A colossus among critics. . . . His enthusiasm for literature is a joyous intoxicant.” —New York Times

In this charming anthology, esteemed literary critic Harold Bloom collects the last poems of history's most important and celebrated poets. As with his immensely popular Best Poems of the English Language, Bloom has carefully

Overview

“A colossus among critics. . . . His enthusiasm for literature is a joyous intoxicant.” —New York Times

In this charming anthology, esteemed literary critic Harold Bloom collects the last poems of history's most important and celebrated poets. As with his immensely popular Best Poems of the English Language, Bloom has carefully curated and annotated the final works of one hundred poets in Till I End My Song, with selections from John Keats, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, D.H. Lawrence, W.H. Auden, John Milton, Herman Melville, Emily Brontë, and others. Written with the same wise and discerning commentary of earlier books—including his acclaimed Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human and The Book of JTill I End My Song is a moving and provocative meditation on the relationship between art, meaning, and ultimately, death, from the literary titan of our time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bloom may be the most famous poetry critic in the English language. As he approached his 80th birthday, he turned his critical faculties toward the subject of death: this surprisingly enjoyable anthology contains the last poems--or the poems that most profoundly contemplate "lastness"--by 100 poets, from Edmund Spenser (d. 1599) to Agha Shahid Ali (d. 2001). Bloom seeks to show, through his selections and commentaries on each poem, that death can be as much an inspiration as a terror. With their last breaths, these poets address God (as John Donne does: "Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,/ Which is my sin, though it were done before?"); future generations (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his "Epitaph," tells those who pass his gravestone, "Beneath this sod/ A poet lies" who "Found death in life" and who hopes to "find life in death!"); a vast public and private self (Frost said, "I opened the door so my last look/ Should be taken outside a house and book"). James Wright finds a new kind of life in the apprehension of his mortality: "How can I feel so warm/ Here in the dead center of January?" Throughout, Bloom's brief prose comments illuminate and entertain. (Oct.)
New York Times Book Review
“[Bloom looks] to poems for clarity about the end of life.”
Booklist
“A collection of surpassing splendor and resonance.”
Library Journal
"O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me, as the day cannot,/ I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death" (Walt Whitman). As Bloom (Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale Univ.; The Western Canon) writes in his introduction, the choices here fall into three categories: literal "final poems," poems that were intended to mark the end of a career, and "imaginative conclusion[s] to poetic career[s]." Spanning 400-plus years and 100 poets, from Edmund Spenser to Agha Shahid Ali, these poems were chosen first for their artistic excellence. An introduction for each grounds it within historical context and the poet's career while sharing delightful tidbits. For example, Hart Crane's father invented Lifesavers, while Robert Frost said that his favorite poem was James Shirley's "Dirge." As this anthology reveals, too many promising poets died too young from war and disease. Regardless of whether readers agree with Bloom's assertion that Shakespeare is the "greatest of all writers in human history," many will praise Bloom's selection of last songs. In the words of F.T. Prince's "Last Poem": "Stand at the grave's head/ Of any common/ Man or woman,/ Thomas Hardy said,/ And in the silence/ What they were,/ Their life, becomes a poem." VERDICT Essential for all poetry collections.—Karla Huston, Appleton Arts Ctr., WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062009739
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,096,147
File size:
672 KB

Meet the Author

Harold Bloom is a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than thirty books include The Best Poems of the English Language, The Art of Reading Poetry, and The Book of J. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy’s Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.

Brief Biography

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

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Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a small town girl who lives in oklahoma. Ive always had a big family. A couple years ago. I found out i was adopted. It changed my whole life. My real dad is alive he just didnt want me. He lives 4 hours away. I have 2 sisters i never knew about. And a big bro too. I cried fir days cuz my parents didnt want me. I ruined my moms life when she had me. Im always gonna be me cuz this is who i am. Im not gonna change for anyone. I have always been the nerd in my class. Th boys flirt with my so they can cheat. I wish that i could be me eith out getting yelled at all th time. My mom works all the time. My dads an alcoholic. They fight when they are home. I just wish i could be me. With no complaints. My sisters hate me. They are really bossy. My brothers are spoiled. Im the worst im the troubled child. They nailed my windows shut when i was 5 and now look at me. Im only 14 but i learned to love a couple days ago. Its been 3 years since i met my biological dad. Good bye for now.