By Harold Bloom
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Extra info for African-American Poets, Volume 2, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
194–99) As the swamps provide natural monuments to the dead, the poem’s allusions provide an elegiac structure that is based in history and literature; yet it is also bathed in private, personal detail. The Dark Tower implies contrast with the ivory tower academic writers are said to inhabit as well as correction to the leisured privilege of the Trask mansion. Who are “the lost adventurers my peers” for Harper? They are the dead—both black and Native American—who repeatedly surface, ghosts or conjured presences, throughout the poems.
Less the stag breaking cover than // the antlers, with which/crowned” (“Hymn”), often with layered consciousnesses: “let me. ” (“Lay Me Down”). These short lines have an unerring sense of the line break, using syntax against sense against breath to build undisclosed connections. ” Shepherd, on the other hand, prefers a more traditionally phrasal line, and the rhythm of thought, as of sub-vocalization, in these poems is achieved in longer units: the stanza or the strophe, rather than the line-break.
Nikki Giovanni is one of the most talented writers to come out of the Black sixties, and I don’t want to lose her. I want her to write poems which grow out of that charming persona, not poems which are consumed by it. Giovanni must keep her charm and overcome her self-indulgence. She has the talent to create good, perhaps important, poetry, if only she has the will to discipline her craft. M ax W . T homas Carl Phillips and Reginald Shepherd Mighty Lines But know you not that creatures wanting sense By nature have a mutual appetence, And wanting organs to advance a step, Moved by love’s force, unto each other leap?
African-American Poets, Volume 2, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom