Today is William Shakespeare's birthday! And death day! Party at my house -- we'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
I sort of love Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence. It makes me feel better about reading and critiquing poetry, mostly because it gives me a reason for being snarky and calling things "derivative." I especially like calling everything derivative of early modern poetry, which is the best poetry ever. In all honesty, Shakespeare the poet is the specter that haunted everybody's work (especially Keats') for the next 200 years, and he's still causing poets plenty of anxiety today. Bloom initially said that influence was not an issue for Shakespeare, but later he admitted that Shakespeare was working through his own anxieties caused by the success of Christopher Marlowe.
In other news, did you know that Shakespeare is SUPER SEXY AND HOT now? Well, he is. Happy 445th birthday!