Death in Literature Poetry - Essay


(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Harold Bloom

SOURCE: "Death and the Native Strain in American Poetry," in Social Research, Vol. 39, No. 3, Autumn, 1972, pp. 449-62.

[In the following essay, Bloom selects a representative poem from both Wallace Stevens and W. B. Yeats in order to contrast American and British poetic conceptions of death, and observes that the former is generally more solipsistic than the latter.]

Shall we be found hanging in the trees next
Of what disaster is this the imminence:
Bare limbs, bare trees and a wind as sharp as salt?
The stars are putting on their glittering belts,

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