In the two decades that have passed since Robert Lowell’s death, Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors is the first critical survey of the poet’s aesthetic efforts to make personal vision and public exhortation cohere and thus combine poetic genres that have been historically discrete.
Rather than consider Lowell primarily as either a religious, political, or autobiographical poet, William Doreski proposes that Lowell’s primary poetic impulse was to shape differing voices into a single entity in which public and private concerns cohere.
This makes him an essential poet for our era, in which the political almost universally seems to have become the personal.
Following the course of Lowell’s poetic development, Professor Doreski argues that the ambiguity of Lowell’s social and religious beliefs, as far as the poems express them, is functional, and that the formal restraints of poems reveal rather than mask the difficulties he found in formulating public and private values.
Rather than attempt to read all of Lowell’s work, Doreski points to specific issues that previous critics have neglected or misunderstood.
In the spirit of the poet himself, Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors emphasizes the process of Lowell’s writing, its immense flexibility, the role of cultural, societal, and personal stress, and the generative impulse that shaped the poems of one of this century’s major poetic figures.
William Doreski is a poet, critic, and professor of English at Keene State College. More info →
Save 20% ($31.96)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Turner Cassity is like a highly accomplished traditional composer—Camille Saint-Saëns, say, or Richard Strauss—who does not doubt that the music is the score and the score is the music. That is, poetry is verse and verse is poetry.Given that confidence, he is prepared to take on any subject. In the forty years he has been publishing, Mr. Cassity has never once written about nothing.
At a time when poets appear tragically detached from the public for which they write, Kevin Stein persuasively demonstrates in Private Poets, Worldy Acts the way a particular group of diverse poets have manifested their communal concerns. As Choice wrote, “Stein’s graceful text is a primer on the relationship of the (American) poetic to the political.”Looking
To take the mess of life and make meaning from it is what all poets seek to do. For Will Wells, recipient of the thirteenth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, this includes reaching across centuries and continents, into the minds and hearts of disparate individuals—Albert Einstein, Andrea Yates, the traveler from Porlock, Dante, or Holocaust survivors, including his own grandmother—to extract the personal value embedded there for him.By
Sign up to be notified when new Literature titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.