04
Jan
13

Harold Bloom’s W.S. Merwin: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide (2004)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 4/5, which was published circa early 2005.

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Harold Bloom's – W.S. MerwinW.S. Merwin: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide (Chelsea House Publishers), a part of the “Bloom’s Major Poets” series, is a collection of literary criticism about W.S. Merwin’s poetry. Five of his poems—“The Drunk in the Furnace,” “For the Anniversary of My Death,” “The River of Bees,” “The Asians Dying,” & “Departure’s Girl-Friend” – receive criticism & commentary from a variety of writers & critics, including Richard Howard, H.L. Hix, Edward J. Brunner, Marjorie Perloff (one of my personal favorites), & others. And while the presented criticism & commentary are only excerpts from larger essays, one can still reach a better understanding of the poems & their workings. Further, one can arrive at a general overall sense of what Merwin has been up to over the years.

The book comes with a good index (as all books of this nature should) that locates where other Merwin poems are mentioned within the given excerpts. W. S. Merwin also comes with a good listing of other “Works About W.S. Merwin.” If you are looking for a quick overview of any of the five listed Merwin poems or are trying to get a general understanding about Merwin’s poetry, & in a short amount of space, then this 119 page book is a fine beginning. It’s also the perfect book to introduce anyone to Merwin’s poems.

I imagine the other books in “Bloom’s Major Poets” series also accomplish this with other poets & in the same manner.//

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Bloom, Harold, ed. W.S. Merwin: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.//


7 Responses to “Harold Bloom’s W.S. Merwin: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide (2004)”


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