By Harold Bloom
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Extra info for African-American Poets, Volume 2, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
During his use of the tower studio in the mansion-style, nineteenth-century house, Harper is an indirect beneficiary of Spencer Trask and Katrina (Kate Nichols) Trask, a wealthy couple who purchased the estate in 1881 and eventually set up a trust to establish the colony. Â€. Â€. ” (193). The exhilarated tone seems indicative of Katrina Trask’s enthusiastic and romantic sense of life; it is decidedly in contrast to the fact-packed syntax in Harper’s poems. The Trasks were eccentric idealists, dedicating their home at Yaddo to the pursuit of their notion of chivalry, full of medieval pageantry and literary allusion.
Rap Brown): No doubt many important Resolutions Were passed As we climbed Malcolm’s ladder But the most Valid of them All was that Rap chose me Even a nonrevolutionary reader would question the political commitment of the above lines. If one is going to set herself up as a serious poet-prophet— and Giovanni has—one had better be concerned about the revolutionary business at a meeting, not one’s love life. This is the sort of frivolousness that Giovanni’s critics, such as Madhubuti and Wallace, rightfully attack.
This technique is often seen as academic, but despite its inter- and intra-textual allusiveness, Harper reminds us that he does not live—or write—in an ivory tower. Although Harper may sometimes write with resonance to Ezra Pound or T. S. Eliot, he writes of Booker T. Washington and Etienne as well as all the fallen dead of Hampton Institute, Arlington, and beyond. Herein lies Harper’s important contribution to contemporary poetry, combining a modernist use of allusion with criticism of the cultural tenets that modernism so often endorsed.
African-American Poets, Volume 2, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom