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American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom [Hardcover]

By Harold Bloom (Editor) & Jesse Zuba (Editor)
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Item description for American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom by Harold Bloom & Jesse Zuba...

An anthology of classic poetic works with religious and spiritual themes evaluates the influences of such movements as Puritanism, the Great Awakenings, and Transcendentalism, in a volume that discusses the works of such figures as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   685
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 5, 2006
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  193108274X  
ISBN13  9781931082747  

Availability  0 units.

More About Harold Bloom & Jesse Zuba

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Harold Bloom is a Sterling Professor of 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. He lives in New Haven and New York.

Harold Bloom currently resides in New York City New Haven, in the state of New York. Harold Bloom has an academic affiliation as follows - Yale University New Directions New Directions New Directions New Direc.

Harold Bloom has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Poets Project
  2. Martin Buber Library

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Anthologies
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Inspirational & Religious
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Poetry
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about American Religious Poems: An Anthology by Harold Bloom?

Poetry containing worlds   Oct 1, 2007
This anthology is another one of Bloom's fantastic encyclopediac projects. He and his assistant Sam Zuba selected nine- hundred poems of two - hundred poets to represent the work of more than three - hundred years of American poetry.
While the first part of the work deals with devotional poetry Bloom's heart is with the Emersonian revolution, and its greatest poet, Whitman. The traditional categories are cast aside and the American cosmic religion goes forth into the world containing universes. This anthology too contains universes in which poets of diverse religious traditions have their say. It also contains a very strong, some might say , too strong representation of naysayers or those who are not ordinarily associated with conventional religion at all. David Gates in his 'Newsweek' review notes.
" His poets include Christians, Jews and Muslims, as well as all the whatevers; he also has American Indian songs and chants and African-American spirituals. "The Criteria of Political Correctness," he writes, "I dismiss with weary contempt." Go ahead and laugh, but I'll bet the Great Enjoyer really does enjoy it all."
Marilynn Robinson however finds that this all- encompassingness raises a certain problem.
"Given all this, Harold Bloom's introduction to American Religious Poems seems at odds with its content. He takes the view that there is a sui generis American religion which bears no relation to religion elsewhere and which is obdurately simpleminded. Yet most American poets who are held in high regard are represented here, and there is a preponderance of modern and contemporary poetry. In other words, aside from the rather perfunctory selection of early writing and a few songs and hymns that seem to have been chosen for their familiarity rather than for their interest as poetry, most of the work collected here is thoughtful and sophisticated by any standard. Much of it would seem "religious" only in a context that encouraged the reader to consider it in this light. Yet in this light it is indeed religious."
It seems to me that while Bloom might be easily open to criticism on his conception of what Religion is he cannot really be faulted for his great passion for and understanding of Poetry. In fact it is far to say Poetry is Bloom's Religion. And therefore the enthusiasm and love he brings to reading it, and this especially in regard to Whitman and Dickinson, works as pervasive spirit in the volume as a whole.
Morever there is so much fine work in this anthology each and every reader will be able to find in it poetry which sustains and inspires.
poetry paradise  Mar 5, 2007
Here under one cover is a poetry lover's gold mine --over 900 poems, by over 200 poets, about all things religious. Bloom and Zuba have defined religion very broadly both in terms of faith traditions and subject matter, the skeptical and the unconventional included, the result being poems and poets that reflect the diverse and plural religious perspectives in American history, including Native American, African American, Buddhist, Sufi, Deist, Jewish, Unitarian, Protestant, Catholic and dozens more. The poems are arranged chronologically, beginning with the 1640 Bay Psalm Book (the first book printed in the colonies) and ending with Brett Foster (b. 1973) of Wheaton College. After the 900-plus poems there are 14 American Indian Songs and Chants, then 14 Spirituals and Anonymous Hymns (eg, "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel" and "Free at Last"). A reader's guide to religious terms, an name index of poets, and an index of poem titles and first lines complete the volume. I was disappointed in Bloom's "introduction," which was little more than a short, technical essay on Walt Whitman ("our prime shaman of American religion") and Emily Dickinson ("Whitman's only possible rival in American poetry"). A broader treatment would have served a general readership better. Nor is there any introduction to the poets or their poems, save their date of birth. Still, this is a literary treasure trove, and I was sorry I had to return it to the public library; between its two covers there is enough poetry for a lifetime of meditation and reflection.

A collection of classic American religious poems  Jan 4, 2007
American Religious Poems is a collection of classic American religious poems by an immense variety of authors, covering all stages of America's history and spiritual legacy. Notes, an index, a source list, and an invaluable Reader's Guide complement the poems themselves, which have been carefully selected for their intergenerational appeal. A worthy cross-section of American faith through the centuries as expressed in poetic literature, from classical narrative poems to spirituals and anonymous hymns. "God": I followed and breathed in silence. / What of its task is beheld? / My feeding thee has lent all / Which broke the current thread breeze / That kept the sprout of pregnant seas / Of weathered promising call. / The filling shades he only changes, / Tells the logos, its unearned dew / Not to feed, as if from cages, / His cloak that perfumes fragrant hew; / What of all the bulging mountains, / Sordid earth and rotting clays? / If then sense is suction fountains, / That same thought is but its ways.
Quirky but worth buying  Dec 16, 2006
You know you'll be getting a slightly idiosyncratic choice of poets and poems with gnostic Harold Bloom as the chief editor. There are poets included who would be a bit surprised to hear themselves considered "religious," so you get early Merwin only, and Mark Strand, James Merrill (spiritual, kinda, but not 'religious'). Only one poem each from Mary Oliver, Gjertrude Schnakenberg, and Jorie Graham, while several from John Ashberry. On the other hand, several poets included I've never heard of--one of the reasons I buy anthologies, to be exposed to new voices. It is a book with great surprises as well, not just limited in scope to the old predictable chestnuts. The real reason I didn't give it a five stars is the physical book itself--ridiculously wasted attempt at a slip cover (cheap, flimsy, faux marbling) and odd graphic of a fountain pen in gold on an off white cover...just not what I expect from the publisher, especially at the cost.
What a book is supposed to be  Nov 17, 2006
The Library of America is a non-profit organization aimed at preserving Americas literary heritage.

Simply stated these books are spectacular, not only in their literary content but in binding as well. You won't find a nicer book.

The content itself is a must for anyone who considers themselves "literate".

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