Allen Tate: Blooms Major Poets: Comprehensive Research And by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

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The alternative to the closed temporal system that he views resides in some sort of spatial suspension, represented in part by the sculptured angels on the tombs. There is surely a suggestion in this passage of what Tate was later to call “the angelic imagination,” an ability to penetrate into the essence of things without recourse to their sensual manifestations. ” The split between body and mind is embodied in the art of the grave sculptor’s angels as much as in the sensibility of the protagonist.

A technique of which Tate made relatively little use in 29 “Narcissus as Narcissus” is the comparative study of earlier and later versions of the poem. As a poet, he would naturally wish to stress the final form of his expression, and it would be only natural to avoid or even to suppress earlier versions of the poem. Certainly any judgment on the poem should be made on the author’s final choice of expression. But when the earlier version help to illuminate the later one, it would seem to make a valuable adjunct for the reader.

For in its ironization of the visionary mode, “Ode to the Confederate Dead” recapitulates Tate’s identification with Eliot and his repudiation of Crane. The ode brings these choices to the fore by its conspicuous appeals to Eliot’s poetry. ”), the theme of “reconsidered passion,” the wind that blows through both poems, and the dramatic monologue form. But this list, considerable as it is, only begins to suggest the ode’s debts to Eliot’s poetry in general. For instance, there are borrowings as unmistakable as the blind crab from “Prufrock” (and Tate’s symbolic bestiary—crab, bitch, jaguar, spiders, owl, and serpent—is always used in Eliot’s manner), and then there are borrowings whose force, if palpable, is only cumulative.

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