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Collected Poems

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,452 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Frank Bidart and David Gewanter have compiled the definitive edition of Robert Lowell's work, from his first, impossible-to-find collection, Land of Unlikeness; to the early triumph of Lord Weary's Castle, winner of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize; to the brilliant willfulness of his versions of poems by Sappho, Baudelaire, Rilke, Montale, and other masters in Imitations; to the l
Paperback, 1186 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2003)
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Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lowell has long been one of my favorite 20th century American poets. I especially like his early work--there's something about the stern, stentorian rhythm of the verse, combined with a hardscrabble New England outlook on life, that never fails to thrill. He's a formal master, alive to his influences, who also has a keen eye for the arresting detail and a penetrating honesty. Some of his poems, like The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket, have haunted me for years.
Diann Blakely
From the fall of Rome to that of the World Trade Center, a cloying, mindless and absurdist sincerity characterizes most political poetry, which often reads like paid-for newspaper memorials to lost loved ones. No one would have known better than Robert Lowell, whose long-awaited, monumental volume of collected verse appeared in June of this year, that politics suffers from the dangerous and inevitable curse of abstraction—simplistic “us vs. them” theories are perennial favorites—unless its pract ...more
The book is a comprehensive collection of Lowell’s work. Forever the tinker, one of the most interesting aspects of Lowell’s work is that he constantly revised. The collection contains not just the poems from his published collections, but also earlier versions published in literary journals. The book is fascinating in discovering Lowell’s process and how his poetry developed over time.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not that impress with the poems that he collect.
Jason Mcclure
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Outstanding insight into a complicated mind.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Goodness gracious. I've been working through this gargantuan tome for several years and I've finally finished it.

What to say about Lowell...

I was so intimidated and excited to start reading him that I made sure to get a hardcover version of this book over at The Strand because I knew that I'd be taking extensive notes and that it would become holy to me.

I'm happy to say that I DID takes notes (so many on some pages that I can barely make out the poem) and it did become holy in the way that great
Annie Weatherly-Barton
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Robert Lowell's poems first came to my notice when I was studying at university. A short section on American writers, novels, plays and poetry. I was totally captivated by Lowell's poems. As a pacifist Lowell spent time in prison for his beliefs. In my view his self-portraits of his time as a patient, suffering from manic depression, in Maclean Hospital is probably the most important. His searingly honesty about his treatment and his portraits of other "in mates" is probably the most heartbreaki ...more
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
He'd dead--and deadly. I mean Lowell, for his generation, is the one most likely to have made a deal at the get such consistently twisted lines, tweaked for torsion beyond his days...he's got a rare combination of highly allusive literary hermeticism complicated by honest and straightforward delivery. He wasn't great to those around him, and his guilt surrounding interpersonal relationships (apparent in many poems) was probably earned, as most biographies relate. People look at e ...more
Jul 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elizabeth bishop
i will always remember bob fondly for introducing me to poetry. i loved his life studies, which i bought while browsing gleebooks's deserted poetry section while i think it was the first harry potter installment was launched downstairs. i liked how the yellow of the fabe&faber edition was kinda pre-faded, and the turd-brown title fonts. i agree, life is shit. i wrote my first poem ever, which took me a few months, imitating lowell, the iambic pentameter, the likable, cute puppy-dog haughtine ...more
Paul Baran
May 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Lowell for me, was the Heir apparent to Whitman... he can re-translate classical myth with American vernacular and make it sound so exhilirating to the ear... his verse drums softly like a New Hampshire breeze and crashes loudly like a marching band. Every line is peirced with an auto-biographic lucidity, in that to get inside his rhythms, one has to give up part of themselves and allow his narrations to take you to interesting places in his sensitive psyche...

Iam still reading again and again..
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Robert Lowell, born Robert Traill Spence Lowell, IV, was an American poet whose works, confessional in nature, engaged with the questions of history and probed the dark recesses of the self. He is generally considered to be among the greatest American poets of the twentieth century.

His first and second books, Land of Unlikeness (1944) and Lord Weary's Castle (for which he received a Pulitzer Prize
More about Robert Lowell...
“I saw the spiders marching through the air,
Swimming from tree to tree that mildewed day
In latter August when the hay
Came creaking to the barn. But where
The wind is westerly,
Where gnarled November makes the spiders fly
Into the apparitions of the sky,
They purpose nothing but their ease and die
Urgently beating east to sunrise and the sea;”
“Two months after marching through Boston,
half the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is as lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gently tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die--
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.”
More quotes…