Poetic Thought of the Day: Priority, Authority and Poetic Wisdom

Dr. Rinaldi's Horror Cabinet

I’ve grown skeptical of Harold Bloom over the years as he began sinking down into a more lackadaisical mode of thought and performance. I still enjoy going back from time to time and reading his The Anxiety of Influence and The Map of Misreading, which along with Agon: Towards a Theory of Revisionism and his small book on Kabbalah and its critical tools form to me the principle works that will remain. His later works are more for general audiences: The Western Canon, Genius, and his endless works of critical reviews and essays, etc. Bloom’s work has always been more of a Rube Goldberg contraption for me. I’ve never taken it as more than a map not of poetry, but of Bloom’s mind of poetry. I think that’s true of any critic you read on poetry and poets. You’re reading a critical or navigation map of the great poetry of…

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