This makes it all the more peculiar that the book includes no citations. The authors being "approximated" are referred to at the end of each poem with an "after So-and-So" tag, but that's it - no listing at the back of the original poems' titles, or the collections in which they appeared. This seems an odd choice for a few reasons: it could appear to be discourteous to the original authors, or suggest that Lista is trying to "get away with something", or alienate those who already feel they are "outside" the world of poetry. Mainly, though, I puzzle over it because of how greatly a reading of Bloom can be enriched by "connecting the dots".
I did a little pre-book club research, and circulated to the group the links to some "originals". Regardless of where group members fell in their final verdict on the book (I, for one, liked it), everyone agreed that reading the originals added significantly to their experience.
Below is my best attempt, using poems already available online, to connect Lista's "approximations" with the original poems. I'm still missing about half of the poems (as the gaps between page numbers indicate), in some cases because the source poems aren't online and in others because I'm not familiar enough with the authors to track the poems down (no titles are given, so you have to remember an idea or line that sticks out, or adeptly choose your Google search words).
If you happen to know of online sources for connections that I've missed, do let me know in the comment field, or by email (roblucastaylor(at)gmail.com), and I'll happily add them. Also, a couple of my guesses may very well be wrong. So lit-nerds, I encourage you to double check!
If you don't have a copy of Bloom on hand, but want to play along, I've linked the titles of all of the Lista poems to audio recordings of him reading them - thanks go to Seen Reading for making those recordings, all of which can be found in one place here.
Hopefully this will help new readers of the book engage more deeply with the text, and perhaps provoke a return to the book for those who've already read it through:
Metempsychosis  (p. 6) = John Crowe Ransom's "Janet Walking"
Louis Slotin in Hades (p. 16) = Anne Sexton's "To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph"
Louis Slotin as The Wanderer (p. 21) = W.H. Auden's "The Wanderer" (With a cameo from W.B. Yeats' "The Second Coming")
Louis Slotin's Sex Appeal (p. 23) = Irving Layton's "Sex Appeal" (Scroll to the bottom of page 5 of the PDF)
Louis Slotin in Hiroshima (p. 24) = Fitzpatrick Madrigali's "?". (My guess was that Fitzpatrick Madrigali was Lista's own pen name, in order to keep up the appearance that all the poems are "approximated" - and to not diminish the significance of "The Eclipse" being "after Nobody". It turns out I was close, as a student who had Lista visit his class reports that FM is a character in an unpublished novel of Lista's)
Laestrygonians (p. 28) = D.H. Lawrence's "There Are Too Many People"
Louis Slotin and The White Lie (p. 32) = Don Paterson's "The White Lie" (I had previously thought it was connected to Paterson's "The Lie", but Aidan Gowland pointed me in the right direction. Thanks Aidan! And Don, what's up with all the "Lie" poems?)
Sirens (p. 35) = Victor Hugo's "Tomorrow, At Dawn"
Louis Slotin's Flaw (p. 40) = Robert Lowell's "The Flaw"
The Return of Odysseus (p. 45) = Edwin Muir's "The Return"
Do. But Do. (p.47) = Robyn Sarah's "The World Is Its Own Museum"
Louis Slotin and The Green Knight (p.55) = "The Pearl Poet"'s "Sir Gawain and The Green Knight" (Scroll to the bottom of page 9 for the juicy decapitation scene - or read the summary on the Wikipedia page)
Louis Slotin Exits The Office (p. 59) = Fitzpatrick Madrigali's "?" (See "Louis Slotin in Hiroshima (p.24)")
Head of a Dandelion (p. 63) = Alice Oswald's "Head of a Dandelion" (Very quiet audio here)
Louis Slotin's Got The Main Blues (p. 66) = George Johnston's "Home Free"
Metempsychosis  (p. 67) = Karen Solie's "Determinism"
Johanna Finds a Reason (p. 69) = The Velvet Underground's "I Found A Reason"
The Coming of Wisdom with Time (p. 70) = W.B. Yeats' "The Coming of Wisdom with Time"
Louis Slotin Circles Kilimanjaro (p. 72) = Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (Scroll down to p. 57 of the text, though the "approximated" part doesn't come until the end of the short story)
Penelope (p.73) = Herman Kahn's "On Escalation: Metaphors and Scenarios" (Thanks to Ariana Ellis for finding this one. I'd originally guessed it was Kahn's "On Thermonuclear War")
If you don't feel like reading a whole Herman Kahn book (or two), this works pretty well as a summary: