Tag Archives: Harold Bloom

“Some syllables are swords.” — Metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan

”I’ve always been much influenced by the 17th-century metaphysical poets like Donne, and especially Henry Vaughan.” — Philip K. Dick It’s Henry Vaughan’s birthday today. I was just thinking the other day about how I encountered certain famous writers in … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“For I am of the seed of the WELCH WOMAN and speak the truth from my heart.” Happy Birthday, Poet Christopher Smart

“For in my nature I quested for beauty, but God, God hath sent me to sea for pearls.” — Christopher Smart, from “Jubilate Agno” Christopher Smart, born on this day in 1722, spent over 10 years of his life locked … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

“For never has such soothing voice / Been to your shadowy world convey’d…” — Matthew Arnold on William Wordsworth

“I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity; the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Art indeed is long, but life is short.” — Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell

“Andrew Marvell spans three ages like a delicate but serviceable bridge. The first length spans Charles I’s reign and fall, the second spans the Commonwealth, the third the Restoration.” — Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets It’s his birthday today. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Too many poets delude themselves by thinking the mind is dangerous and must be left out. Well, the mind is dangerous, and must be left in.” — Robert Frost

“[The poem] begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life–not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“I did not begin to write poetry in earnest until the really emotional part of my life was over.” — poet A.E. Housman

OUCH, A.E. OUCH. He was born in 1859 and he died in 1936. That generation saw so much change it boggles the mind, and I say that as a member of a generation which grew up sans internet – who … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Since when was genius found respectable?” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s her birthday today. I have a beautiful red-leather bound copy of The Complete Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, bought at a second-hand store. The publication date is 1882, with a foreword by Mrs. Browning herself. She died in … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“And now I long to try a loftier strain, the sublimer Song whose broken melodies have for so many years breathed through my soul…” — poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“He suffered excessive popularity; he has now suffered three quarters of a century of critical neglect.” – Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on this day in 1807, in Portland, Maine. He was the first … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Birthday, Wystan Hugh Auden: “The enlightenment driven away / The habit-forming pain”

W.H. Auden was born on this day in York, England, 1907. I first encountered Auden in my “Humanities” class, senior year in high school. I got a lot out of that class, and I remember we analyzed Auden’s famous most-anthologized … Continue reading

Posted in Books, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

“For I, the chiefest lamp of all the earth…” — Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine

Maybe this is him. I’m armed with more than complete steel, The justice of my quarrel. — Christopher Marlowe, Lust’s Dominion. Act iii. Sc. 4. Playwright, poet, prodigy, agent in Her Majesty’s secret service: the incomparable Christopher Marlowe was born … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, Theatre, writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments