“To read Bloom’s insights here is to bask in the emanation of genius. As entertaining and erudite as his choices of the works he most loves are, the book’s overriding strength is the guidance it gives, in context and comprehension.” –Baltimore Sun
This comprehensive anthology offers renowned critic Harold Bloom’s choice of the best of six centuries of great British and American poetry, selected in accordance with his three absolute criteria: aesthetic splendor, intellectual power, and wisdom. In Bloom’s introductory essay “The Art of Reading Poetry,” he presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to reading, teaching, and writing about great verse, the literary achievement he loves most. Throughout this volume, Bloom includes extensive introductions to each poet and to many of the individual poems. More than any other anthology, this book provides readers who desire the pleasures of sublime art with nearly everything they need in a single volume.
Harold Bloom was a Sterling Professor of the 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 was a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of numerous 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.
“A colossus among critics. . . . His enthusiasm for literature is a joyous intoxicant.” — New York Times Magazine
“Our most valuable critic . . . Harold Bloom reminds us what matters.” — Boston Globe
“One feels about Bloom’s focus, every serious reader of poetry really must begin with the works he so ardently loves and champions…this comprehensive anthology is an ideal starting place.” — Booklist
“A poetry anthology of and for the ages.” — Los Angeles Times
“Whether you love poetry or you want to know more about the art form over the centuries, this is the book you will want.” — Albuquerque Journal
“Uncommonly valuable to all who appreciate poetry. . . . This superb anthology will ensure Bloom’s role in the process for a long time and will, I hope, inspire others to walk in his formidable footsteps.” — San Francisco Chronicle