By Carl Rollyson

ISBN-10: 1442223944

ISBN-13: 9781442223943

The debatable American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925), a founding member of the Imagist staff that integrated D. H. Lawrence and H. D., excelled because the impresario for the "new poetry" that grew to become information around the U. S. within the years after international conflict I. Maligned through T. S. Eliot because the "demon saleswoman" of poetry, and ridiculed through Ezra Pound, Lowell has been handled through prior 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 many of the most interesting love lyrics of the twentieth century and led an entire and loving lifestyles together with her consistent significant other, the retired actress Ada Russell. She was once presented 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, finally, is starting to get pleasure from the contributions of gays and lesbians to American's cultural history. Drawing on newly found letters and papers, Rollyson's biography ultimately supplies this vivid poet her due.

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That such a paragon actually materialized in the figure of Ada Dwyer Russell would remain a wonder to an ever-grateful Lowell. 65 But until such a nonpareil presented herself, Lowell’s life and work seemed stagnant, although increasingly polished. One of her first accomplished poems arose out of a public campaign to save the site of a sacred cultural institution. The Boston Athenaeum, a venerable institution that had been supported by several generations of her family (including a great-grandfather and grandfather who had both been presidents), was slated to be moved to a new location.

She is the same all the time just as if you didn’t like her and she didn’t know you did; but get her talking and there is no end to her depths. I never got to the end myself but I shall persevere and perhaps I shall some time. She is a little affected sometimes over at the tennis ground. And she does not always obey as I always supposed a girl of her age should. Her crust is hard enough to break but once through there appears to be no end. She has a good deal of character [sic] . . Then there was Mabel: Looking prettier than ever, her hair is about as long as mine, and tied back losely [sic] I am awfully glad she has come home.

She studied “rules for the semi-colon,” colon, and comma, and worked through exercises in capitalization and spelling. Other exercises included writing five short sentences and turning them into long ones. She read Herbert Spencer’s essay on the philosophy of style. ” Amy enjoyed running away from the scolding Mu. Amy was not exactly lonely; she was sometimes a loner by choice. ” In her undated composition book, the teenage Amy answers questions that revealed self-control as her favorite moral characteristic; deceit as the moral failing she most disliked; Benjamin Franklin as the American hero she most admired; and Alfred the Great as her pick for a hero from another country.

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Amy Lowell Anew: A Biography by Carl Rollyson


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