I am tired of taking time to address some frightened cultural fundamentalist’s predictable generalizations about the end of the literary world as he knows it. Last time around, the one screaming fire in the theatre was Joseph Epstein, another self-appointed custodian of the good old days bemoaning the evanescence of his ilk’s true religion. (Of course, the next time it may be a theorist of one of the -isms Mr. Bloom so detests. Fundamentalist guards come in all colors, no matter their church.)

Let the critics shriek; I am writing my poems. I am not writing for the approval of Harold Bloom, although I do not mind sharing with him some of my literary company, like Shakespeare and Keats and Whitman and Dickinson. However, as far as some other favorite company of mine is concerned– from Sappho to Hughes (Langston) to Hayden and Rukeyser–I happily leave the narrow-minded praetorians outside the gates in their dusty armor.