Poet Highlight

At the American Library there is an adequate selection of poetry. A book series they have invested in is called the American Poets Project from the Library of America. If you are tired of the word America right now, you aren't 'Merican.

While looking through the titles, a name that seemed vaguely familiar caught my attention: Amy Lowell. Who was she? What did she write? Am I just thinking of Robert Lowell? After leafing through the introduction, reading, "Anyone with more than a passing knowledge of American poetry has heard of Amy Lowell..." by Honor Moore, I felt judged enough to borrow it.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925) is connected to the Imagist movement that was led by Ezra Pound. Though she and Pound had a love/hate relationship (Pound wasn't really a nice guy, so this type of relationship wasn't unusual), she identified herself as an Imagist and propounded its values in the U.S.

Her first book was published in 1912, and Lowell would go on to publish several books of poems, anthologies, and critical studies until her death. In her poems, she "pioneered the use of 'polyphonic prose' in English, mixing formal verse and free forms" (poets.org). Her work is characterized for its clarity, but it is also noted for its "bald audacity" and "eroticism" (Moore in Amy Lowell selected poems, American Poets Project). Amy Lowell was outspoken, forceful, kind, and a known lesbian in a time when silence was golden.

For links to some examples of her poetry, you can click here, here, or here. From what I've read so far, I am a bit wishy-washy, meaning I understand the rationale for those interested in her, but I don't find her in my top ten favorite poets. The first poem in this list of the three would be my favorite if I had to choose one to click.

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