march boutiques-francophones Unlimited cloud storage snsflyout Furniture Introducing Kindle Oasis Music Deals Store sports Tools Family

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars3
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$14.06+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on May 15, 2005
I really liked this book. Any book that discusses poetry passionately and promotes its importance in the world is great by me. However, when discussing "Best of" choices, it is entirely a matter of opinion. Poetry is the most subjective and individual kind of writing -- many argue it is the highest form of literature (and I would agree with that). My problem are the choices here. Camille Paglia has her own taste of course, so she's entitled. But of the choices here, in MY opinion, about 10% would fall into the category of "best of."
I always find Camille Paglia's work engaging, so I would recommend this book. A plus if you're a poetry lover like myself. And, as always, I do appreciate her speaking out against Academia with its stilted, post-post modern tastes. This is a woman with strong opinions and she states them passionately. Buy a copy of Break, Blow, Burn -- try it for yourself. You may feel differently about her choices, agree or disagree, but at the very least enjoy the debate. Another Amazon pick I need to recommend, one I purchased recently and can't stop thinking about is called THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez -- about a poet who can't published. Now there's a character I can relate to!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 19, 2016
Camille Paglia, the outspoken cultural critic, has done a fine job here, proving that the book-buying public is still interested in poetry if it is made accessible. She closely analyses 43 poems, though many of them are far from being (as her title claims) among "the world's best". Her reading of them is insightful and imaginative, bringing out much in poetry with which I had been familiar that was new and interesting. Though she is a self-proclaimed pagan she does not slight the Christian content of religious poets such as Donne and Herbert. This is a valuable book, as much for the fun of arguing with her interpretations and choices as for when one agrees with her.

So why only four stars? Two things prompt me to omit the coveted 5th star. The first is her monstrous self-regard. She toots her own horn as if she were a 50-piece brass band; she clearly wants to die in her own arms. We can see this in her dismissal of many of the 20th century's greatest poets: she just didn't think Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop or W.H. Auden was up to her standards. One is too shallow, another is self-pitying; Auden produces vague blather; Bukowski was undisciplined and garrulous. This leads me to the second failure: it wouldn't trouble me if she had filled up the book with more Blake or Byron or Browning but no -- she had to include some dreadful modern poetry among the "world's best". A thousand years from now readers are going to value Tennyson's "Ulysses" and T.S. Eliot's "Waste Land"; they are not going to be reading the slight and trite verse of Chuck Wachtel or Rochelle Kraut. And if you are going to include Joni Mitchell, why exclude the much more profound. Ogden Nash?
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 2, 2005
I really liked this book. Any book that discusses poetry passionately and promotes its importance in the world is great by me. However, when discussing "Best of" choices, it is entirely a matter of opinion. Poetry is the most subjective and individual kind of writing -- many argue it is the highest form of literature (and I would agree with that). My problem are the choices here. Camille Paglia has her own taste of course, so she's entitled. But of the choices here, in MY opinion, about 10% would fall into the category of "best of."
I always find Camille Paglia's work engaging, so I would recommend this book. A plus if you're a poetry lover like myself. And, as always, I do appreciate her speaking out against Academia with its stilted, post-post modern tastes. This is a woman with strong opinions and she states them passionately. Buy a copy of Break, Blow, Burn -- try it for yourself. You may feel differently about her choices, agree or disagree, but at the very least enjoy the debate. Another Amazon pick I need to recommend, one I purchased recently and can't stop thinking about is called THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez -- about a poet who can't published. Now there's a character I can relate to!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse