Download e-book for kindle: Jay Wright (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

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Sample text

The Regeneration” appears to be a dreadful allegory of the crucifixion: The wind, taut as piano wire, peels me apart. I go down, down through the evening, standing somewhere between light and dark. On this hill, I hear a child’s voice grumble like a soldier’s, and feel the weight of some dead man on my back, his fingers tightened around my throat ... (p. 78) The poem’s details—“wooden monuments,” “shabby cathedral,” “three candles,” “twelve men,” “wine,” “the hill”—are images from a nightmare (“I run, under the dead man’s stutter”) rather than icons of faith.

The initiate is a pilgrim, a peregrinus, insistent on what might pass for the classical mood. But what is discovered seems predetermined. You’re in the Army Now 29 This initiate has no need for humility, awe, or passion. He can, after all, follow Dante into exile—“Let sister Florence/ truss herself in virtue”— and not contract malaria. ” There is much talk of stairs, ladders, altars, pools, eggs, donu birds, instruments, tests, and signs throughout. ) But these symbols do not, somehow, accumulate, or make for a compelling system.

26) This is a “typical” Wright poem, a continuous narrative, in about 150 phrasal lines, of his father’s life and family history. “First Principles”— 52 Gerald Barrax written in exactly the same form in just over 100 lines—is a moving account of the father’s fear that the son has been injured or killed in what the reader must assume was a so-called urban riot. It is one of Wright’s finest works. “I see my father/ standing in the half-moon/ that the ancient lamp throws on the street,” the poem begins; and the speaker walks toward his father, unable to believe that he is here— even if he’s only come to pick up the pieces, to make sure that I’m alive.

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