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Boomlay, Boomlay, Boomlay, BLOOM

The poems I have chosen to memorize over the years answer to an odd mixture of social occasions and opportunities. When asked to perform a poem at nonacademic parties, I have found Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," not among the poems Harold Bloom includes in The Best Poems of the English Language (2004), to serve me best.

Addressed to Her

On seeing you that second time last night,
Pat Benatar a disembodied blare
amidst a night yet ravenous for dares,
I thought I’d talk to you, to ask you why


Hoping characters ring true, the master assigns just two words, war and peace, for the final class. In light of tradition, he examines every stroke, satisfied our work on war has nowhere else to turn, but peace is another story, looking too much l [...]

Some Thoughts on Sylvia Plath

The woman next to me was astonishing in her stillness. She appeared perfectly composed, quiet, almost fixed in her concentration. She was softly pretty, her camel's hair coat slung over the back of her chair and a pile of books in front of her. Her notebook was open, her pencil poised. Everything seemed neat. This was Sylvia Plath.