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By Carl Rollyson

The arguable American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925), a founding member of the Imagist team that incorporated D. H. Lawrence and H. D., excelled because the impresario for the "new poetry" that turned information around the U. S. within the years after global warfare I. Maligned via T. S. Eliot because the "demon saleswoman" of poetry, and ridiculed by means of Ezra Pound, Lowell has been handled by way of past biographers as an overweight, sex-starved, inferior poet who smoked cigars and made a spectacle of herself, canvassing the rustic on lecture excursions that drew crowds within the thousands for her electrifying performances.

In truth, Lowell wrote a few of the best love lyrics of the twentieth century and led an entire and loving existence together with her consistent spouse, the retired actress Ada Russell. She was once provided the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1926. This provocative new biography, the 1st in 40 years, restores Amy Lowell to her complete humanity in an period that, ultimately, is commencing to get pleasure from the contributions of gays and lesbians to American's cultural historical past. Drawing on newly came upon letters and papers, Rollyson's biography eventually supplies this bright poet her due.

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Extra info for Amy Lowell Anew: A Biography

Sample text

The period between 1891 and 1895, however, is largely a blank. Even Lowell’s best-informed biographer, Foster Damon, has little to say about this period, except that Percival’s books on the Far East inspired Amy’s writing projects. ” 25 It is a revealing comment. If the literary life resulted merely in producing a sense of one’s own superiority, there was no point to it. Percy had shown her as much in his generous and stimulating letters: One took the world as it was and absorbed it into one’s sensibility, creating a new kind of beauty, a new art.

No dependence, go where you please, do what you please. I can imagine falling in love with a man. I should like to be a man & fall in love with a woman. Oh well! What must be must be. ” Amy may not have been easy to love. She tended to draw away. She did not like to be kissed. “I hate effusion,” she declared in her diary. It seemed foolish to her. “Some people are geese,” she said matter-offactly. After a snowball fight in a public garden that made Amy feel like a child, she was chagrinned to learn that her friends had gone off for a walk without inviting her.

Bessie had become such a fixture at Sevenels that Amy felt obliged to tell the Valentines when Bessie was spending a few nights away with her family. Lowell told the Valentines many times that she loved them. ” Bessie had just returned from a two-month convalescent stay in England. Sick and sad, she had been too exhausted to write the Valentines sooner. ” This unpunctuated report reads like an outpouring of despair that Bessie could not bear to explain to the “two dear people” who had been such a source of support to her.

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