Robert Lowell


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Lowell, Robert

(Robert Traill Spence Lowell 4th), 1917–77, American poet and translator, widely considered the preeminent American poet of the mid-20th cent., b. Boston, grad. Kenyon College (B.A., 1940). A grandnephew of James Russell LowellLowell, James Russell,
1819–91, American poet, critic, and editor, b. Cambridge, Mass. He was influential in revitalizing the intellectual life of New England in the mid-19th cent. Educated at Harvard (B.A., 1838; LL.B., 1840), he abandoned law for literature.
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, in 1940 he converted to Roman Catholicism and married the writer Jean StaffordStafford, Jean,
1915–79, American writer, b. Covina, Calif., grad. Univ. of Colorado, 1936. Her literary reputation rests primarily on her exquisitely wrought short stories.
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. During World War II he served a jail sentence as a conscientious objector. He taught at Boston Univ. and at Harvard. His second wife (1949–72) was the novelist and critic Elizabeth HardwickHardwick, Elizabeth,
1916–2007, American literary critic, novelist, and short-story writer, b. Lexington, Ky.; grad Univ. of Kentucky (B.A., 1938; M.A., 1939). She moved (1939) to New York City, where she studied at Columbia and soon became a member of a circle of
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.

Lowell's poetry is individualistic and intense, rich in symbolism and marked by great technical skill. His later work indicates a philosophic acceptance of life and the world. His Life Studies (1959) is a frank and highly autobiographical volume in verse and prose, one of the first and most influential works of what is widely called "confessional" poetry. Lowell often used his life as raw material for his verse, writing, for instance, of his family, his relationships with his wives, and his frequent bouts of depression and madness, the results of a severe bipolar disorder. Among his other poetry collections are Lord Weary's Castle (1946; Pulitzer Prize), For the Union Dead (1964), Near the Ocean (1967), Notebook: Nineteen Sixty-Seven to Nineteen Sixty-Eight (1969), The Dolphin (1973; Pulitzer Prize), Day by Day (1977), and Last Poems (1977). His translations include Racine's Phèdre (1969), Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound (1969), and miscellaneous European verse, collected as Imitations (1961). His dramatic adaptation of Melville's story "Benito Cereno" is part of Lowell's trilogy of plays, The Old Glory (1968).

Bibliography

See his collected poems ed. by F. Bidart and D. Gewanter (2003) and collected prose ed. by R. Giroux (1987); Robert Lowell: Interviews and Memoirs (1988), ed. by J. Meyers; his letters ed. by S. Hamilton (2005) and his correspondence with Elizabeth BishopBishop, Elizabeth,
1911–79, American poet, b. Worcester, Mass., grad. Vassar, 1934. During the 1950s and 60s she lived in Brazil, eventually returning to her native New England, where she taught at Harvard (1970–77).
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 ed. by T. Travisano and S. Hamilton (2008); biographies by I. Hamilton (1982), P. Mariani (1994), R. Tillinghast (1995), and S. P. Stuart (1998); studies by M. Perloff (1973), J. Crick (1974), J. Price, ed. (1974), S. Yenser (1975), S. G. Axelrod (1978), B. Raffel (1981), M. Rudman (1983), N. Procopiow (1984), J. Meyers (1985), S. G. Axelrod, ed. (1986 with H. Deese and 1999), H. Bloom, ed. (1987), K. Wallingford (1988), W. Doreski (1999), and K. R. Jamison (2017).

Lowell, Robert (Traill Spence, Jr.)

(1917–77) poet; born in Boston, Mass. He studied at Harvard (1935–37), and Kenyon College, Ohio (B.A. 1940). A conscientious objector in World War II, he served a prison sentence (1943–44). He taught at many institutions, was Consultant in Poetry, Library of Congress (1947–48), and wrote several plays and translations. A troubled man and brilliant poet, he combined his two beings in launching the so-called confessional school of poetry, and has been honored for his disquieting works, as in Notebook 1967–1968 (1969; augmented 1970).
References in periodicals archive ?
Robert Lowell is mentioned principally as a translator of Leopardi, and Singh praises his fellow Indian, Tagore.
Impressively researched and rich in biographical details, "Flannery O'Connor and Robert Giroux: A Publishing Partnership" chronicles Giroux's and O'Connor's personal and professional relationship, not omitting their circle of friends and fellow writers, including Robert Lowell, Caroline Gordon, Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, Allen Tate, Thomas Merton, and Robert Penn Warren.
That question begs in Kay Redfield Jamison's study of imagination and manic-depressive illness, which she instructs "is not a biography" but "a psychological account of the life and mind of Robert Lowell." Her "interest lies in the entanglement of art, character, mood, and intellect"; consequently, she concludes that "[s]tudying the influence of both normal and pathological moods on creative work is critical to understanding how the mind imagines" (5).
Axelrod once wrote that Lowell, in "Fall 1961," dramatizes what William James called "the feeling of bare time," the most profound contemplation of time which intensified his dread of nuclear threat (Robert Lowell 150).
Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, in "Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character" (New York: Alfred A.
Sandra Hochman; LOVING ROBERT LOWELL; Turner Publishing (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) 16.99 ISBN: 9781683365372
an interview with Roberto Bolano, and a verse fragment by Robert Lowell
Yeats,o Seamus Heaney's elegy to Robert Lowell, and in turn, Lowell's elegies to several authors.
After an "overview" of the era, the book devotes a chapter to Robert Lowell and John Berryman's construction of a "language of crisis" (16), a poetic mode in which "autobiography became apocalypse" (17).
Robert Lowell's poetic imagination emerged from the extremes of New England's weather, its frozen winters and fiery summers.
He got strong enough, say, to write the brilliant story of himself and Robert Lowell at the anti-war rally featured in The Armies of the Night.
In Robert Lowell's "For the Union Dead," the banality of Civil War memory underwrites apathy toward civil rights struggle.