New Selected Poems

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ISBN 9780571339488 Format Paperback
9780571339488
Paperback
Published 03/08/2017 Length 272 pages
272

About Book

'THE BEST AMERICAN POET OF HIS GENERATION.' – TIME

Gathered on the occasion of Robert Lowell’s one hundredth birthday, New Selected Poems offers a fresh and illuminating representation of one of the great careers in twentieth-century poetry. The renowned and controversial author of many books of poems, plays, and translations, Lowell was one of the United States’ most honoured poets, winning the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1947 and 1974, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His ongoing interrogation of his family legacy, his personal struggle with manic depression, and his mastery of the tradition of poetry in English formed the groundbreaking autobiographical foundation of Life Studies (1959) and the books that followed it, including For the Union Dead (1964), Near the Ocean (1967), History (1973), and Day by Day (1977).

Katie Peterson’s incisive selection of Lowell’s poems draws attention to ‘the perishability of life, its twinned quality of fragility and repetition, as framed by the structured evanescence of daily consciousness.’ Lowell’s own intense dramas and struggles are the substrate he drew on in his restless search to make sense of, and fix, shape-shifting experience – not his, but ours. As Peterson says, Lowell was ‘constitutionally immune to any stultifying permanence either of form or of spirit.’ Her brilliant new reading of Lowell shows us his work constantly breaking, renewing, transforming, as he strives restlessly, over and over, to find an elusive unity.

'THE BEST AMERICAN POET OF HIS GENERATION.' – TIMEGathered on the occasion of Robert Lowell’s one hundredth birthday, New Selected Poems offers a fresh and illuminating representation of one of the great careers in twentieth-century poetry. The renowned and controversial author of many books of poems, plays, and translations, Lowell was one of the United States’ most honoured poets, winning the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1947 and 1974, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His ongoing interrogation of his family legacy, his personal struggle with manic depression, and his mastery of the tradition of poetry in English formed the groundbreaking autobiographical foundation of Life Studies (1959) and the books that followed it, including For the Union Dead (1964), Near the Ocean (1967), History (1973), and Day by Day (1977).Katie Peterson’s incisive selection of Lowell’s poems draws attention to ‘the perishability of life, its twinned quality of fragility and repetition, as framed by the structured evanescence of daily consciousness.’ Lowell’s own intense dramas and struggles are the substrate he drew on in his restless search to make sense of, and fix, shape-shifting experience – not his, but ours. As Peterson says, Lowell was ‘constitutionally immune to any stultifying permanence either of form or of spirit.’ Her brilliant new reading of Lowell shows us his work constantly breaking, renewing, transforming, as he strives restlessly, over and over, to find an elusive unity.
  • About Robert Lowell

    Robert Lowell (1917-1977) was born in Boston. He was recognised as an accomplished poet in his own lifetime, and along with Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman and Sylvia Plath he created the fashion and generated the force of American poetry over the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Life Studies, published in 1959, marked a watershed. It initiated an autobiographical project which would dominate his oeuvre thereafter, and is now regarded as one of the most influential books of the century. He received a Pulitzer Prize for Lord Weary's Castle (1946) and another for The Dolphin (1973).

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