By Carl Rollyson
The arguable American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925), a founding member of the Imagist team 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 global struggle I. Maligned through T. S. Eliot because the "demon saleswoman" of poetry, and ridiculed by way of Ezra Pound, Lowell has been handled by means 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 enormous quantities for her electrifying performances.
In truth, Lowell wrote the various best love lyrics of the 20 th century and led an entire and loving lifestyles together with her consistent better half, the retired actress Ada Russell. She used to be offered 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 starting to savour the contributions of gays and lesbians to American's cultural background. Drawing on newly stumbled on letters and papers, Rollyson's biography ultimately offers this bright poet her due.
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Extra resources for Amy Lowell Anew: A Biography
Barbara Frietchie”: “Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country’s flag,” she said. A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came; The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman’s deed and word; “Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! ” he said . . Like generations of schoolchildren brought up to memorize their Longfellow and Whittier, Lowell probably knew this poem by heart. When Winston Churchill arrived in Frederick, Maryland, in 1943, he went to OUT OF THE B ROOD ( 1 8 7 4–1 9 1 2 ) 9 where Frietchie made her famous stand and recited the poem from memory on the spot.
In February 1906, Amy and Bessie accompanied Miss Fanny Chapman, a sister of OUT OF THE B ROOD ( 1 8 7 4–1 9 1 2 ) 23 Amy’s favorite aunt, to Charleston, South Carolina. Nothing in Amy’s letters even hints at any trouble with Bessie. 61 Lowell telephoned the Valentines from time to time and encouraged them to extend their stays at Sevenels. ” 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.
Amy Lowell, disheartened for nearly a decade, became intoxicated, imagining that she could transform herself with the performance of her OUT OF THE B ROOD ( 1 8 7 4–1 9 1 2 ) 19 own words. But she had to learn how to work that transformation for others in order to attract the audience that adored Duse. Melissa Bradshaw provides the most powerful explanation of what Duse meant to Amy Lowell in 1902. Lowell had seen several of Duse’s performances before—in 1893 and 1896—and had even met the actress briefly in Philadelphia.