Break, Blow, Burn

Break, Blow, Burn

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World’s Best Poems is destined to become a landmark. In it, America’s premier intellectual provocateur explores and celebrates a series of great poems of the Western tradition, including some surprising discoveries of her own. She brings new energy and insight to our understanding of poems we already know, such as masterpieces by Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley, Dickinson, Lowell, and Plath. She leads us to appreciate the artistry of writers with whom we may not be familiar, such as Chuck Wachtel and Wanda Coleman. And she hails the songwriter Joni Mitchell as a major contemporary poet.

Daring, erudite, entertaining, and infused throughout with Paglia’s inimitable style and passion, this beautifully written book––and the dazzling mind behind it––will entice readers to begin or renew a passionate engagement with poetry.

Baker & Taylor
An iconoclastic intellectual and author of Sexual Personae celebrates the great poetry of the Western tradition as she looks at diverse works by poets ranging from Shakespeare and Dickinson to Plath, Hughes, and other unconventional poets. 50,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Celebrates the great poetry of the Western tradition, looking at diverse works by poets ranging from Shakespeare and Dickinson to Plath, Hughes, and other unconventional poets.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375420849
Characteristics: xvii, 247 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 01, 2016

I completely enjoyed reading BREAK BLOW BURN! Camille Paglia is such a skilled and playful writer, that her mini-essays on each of the forty-three selections stand as works of analytic art on their own.

Paglia sheds new light on poems I've been reading forever, like "Ozymandias" by Shelley, "Daddy" by Plath, and "Root Cellar" by Roethke, and poems I had yet to discover, like "This Is Just To Say" by William Carlos Williams, and "Cuttings" by Roethke. The longest essay, devoted to Sylvia Plath, is 10 pages long. This is great for quick bite-sized reading sessions, or in big gobs if you're just crazy and love poetry. 5 stars.

Jun 23, 2016

I really enjoyed this book and found it enlightening, and a bit provocative. There are forty-two poems she writes short (two to six pages) expository essays about. No concluding chapter, but it does have a section giving biographical paragraphs of the poets featured. I wish there were more books like this.

Dec 10, 2012

This book is an insight into Camille Paglia's literary taste and teaching style. Pretty interesting, enjoyable, and provocative (like always).


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at PPL.

Try searching for Break, Blow, Burn to see if PPL owns related versions of the work.

Suggest For Purchase

To Top