In his 1973 book The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom argues that the young poet must assume poetic authority through willfully misreading, and then overthrowing, a precursor poet. In this lecture, Jennifer Grotz meditates on what in Bloom’s theory is helpful and what is harmful for a young writer; she draws on prose by Bloom and Eliot, and on poems by Plath, Graham, Moore, Milton, Bishop, Milosz and Merwin, to offer a different understanding of what poetic authority is and how one can obtain it.
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