Friday, December 21, 2012

Harold Bloom's "Last Poems" anthology

Harold Bloom chose the verses below for Emily Dickinson in his anthology Til I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems. "In conceptual scope, originality, and profundity Dickinson surpasses any other literary mind since William Shakespeare's," he asserts.

Emily Dickinson Museum
The saddest noise, the sweetest noise,
  The maddest noise that grows,—
The birds, they make it in the spring,
  At night’s delicious close.

Between the March and April line—
  That magical frontier
Beyond which summer hesitates,
  Almost too heavenly near.

It makes us think of all the dead
  That sauntered with us here,
By separation’s sorcery
  Made cruelly more dear.

It makes us think of what we had,
  And what we now deplore.
We almost wish those siren throats
  Would go and sing no more.

An ear can break a human heart
  As quickly as a spear,
We wish the ear had not a heart
  So dangerously near. [1789]

Further reading: Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds.


  1. WILHELM THADDEUS FINKDecember 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Dickinson is, without question, my favorite poet. Appropriate for the first day of winter; her eloquent handling of the heft of depression has been a lighthouse for me in my life. Wow, BUMMER ALERT!! Merry Christmas, all:)

  2. Harold Bloom likely has more disciples than a dog has fleas. He also is prone to the occasional overstatement.
    But he does have excellent taste, and this poem exemplifies that.

    Merry Christmas to you all.