Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell

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Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV (/ˈloʊəl/; March 1, 1917 – September 12, 1977) was an American poet. He was born into a Boston Brahmin family that could trace its origins back to the Mayflower.
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Skunk Hour

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(for Elizabeth Bishop)Nautilus Island's hermitheiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;her sheep still graze above the sea
Her son's a bishop
Her farmer is first selectman in our village;she's in her dotage
Thirstin...
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The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket

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Let man have dominion over the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the airand the beasts and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth
IA brackish reach of shoal off Madaket,-The sea was still breaking violently a...
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Homecoming

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What was is… since 1930;the boys in my old gangare senior partners
They start upbald like baby birdsto embrace retirement
At the altar of surrender,
I met youin the hour of credulity
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Waking in the Blue

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The night attendant, a B
U
sophomore,rouses from the mare's-nest of his drowsy headpropped on The Meaning of Meaning
He catwalks down our corridor
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The Drunken Fisherman

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Wallowing in this bloody sty,
I cast for fish that pleased my eye(Truly Jehovah's bow
No pots of gold to weight its ends);
Only the blood-mouthed rainbow
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Epilogue

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Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—why are they no help to me nowI want to makesomething imagined, not recalled
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens, it trembles to caress the light
But sometime...
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The Old Flame

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My old flame, my wife
Remember our lists of birds
One morning last summer,
I droveby our house in Maine
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Man and Wife

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Tamed by Miltown, we lie on Mother's bed;the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;in broad daylight her gilded bed-posts shine,abandoned, almost Dionysian
At last the trees are green on Marlborough Street,blossoms on our magnolia ignitethe mor...
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Memories of West Street and Lepke

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Only teaching on Tuesdays, book-wormingin pajamas fresh from the washer each morning,
I hog a whole house on Boston's "hardly passionate Marlborough Street,"where even the manscavenging filth in the back alley trash cans,has two chi...
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History

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History has to live with what was here,clutching and close to fumbling all we had—it is so dull and gruesome how we die,unlike writing, life never finishes
Abel was finished; death is not remote,a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,his ...
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Children of Light

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Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and
And fenced their gardens with the Redmen's bones;
Embarking from the Nether Land of Holland,
Pilgrims unhouseled by Geneva's night,
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Falling Asleep Over The Aeneid

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An old man in Concord forgets to go to morning service
He falls asleep, while reading Vergil, and dreams that he is Aeneas at the funeral of Pallas, an Italian prince
The sun is blue and scarlet on my page,
And yuck-a, yuck-a, yuck-...
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Home After Three Months Away

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Gone now the baby's nurse,a lioness who ruled the roostand made the Mother cry
She used to tiegobbets of porkrind in bowknots of gauze—three months they hung like soggy toaston our eight foot magnolia tree,and helped the English sparrowsweath...
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My Last Afternoon With Uncle Devereux Winslow

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1922: the stone porch of my Grandfather’s summer houseI“I won’t go with you
I want to stay with Grandpa
” That’s how I threw cold water on my Mother and Father’s watery martini pipe dreams at Sunday dinner
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For the Union Dead

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Relinquunt Ommia Servare Rem Publicam
The old South Boston Aquarium standsin a Sahara of snow now
Its broken windows are boarded
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales
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Sailing Home From Rapallo

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[February 1954]Your nurse could only speak Italian, but after twenty minutes I could imagine your final week, and tears ran down my cheeks
When I embarked from Italy with my Mother’s body, the whole shoreline of the Golfo di Genova was breaki...
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