Robert Lowell

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Robert Lowell (1917-1977) was an American author. His works include Land of Unlikeness (1944), Lord Weary's Castle (1946), The Mill of the Kavanaughs (1951), Old Glory (1964), and Dolphin (1973). He won a Pulitzer Prize for Lord Weary's Castle and for Dolphin.[1]

Life and Works

Lowell was born March 1, 1917, to a high-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, and claims many famous relatives including Jonathan Edwards, Anne Hutchinson, and Robert Livingston.[2] As a young child, he had decided on a career as a poet, and studied the English poetry tradition each summer between studying at St. Mark's preparatory school.[3] He attended Harvard University for two years before transferring to Kenyon College, where got an undergraduate degree in 1940, and later attended Louisiana State University.[4] He spent a year in jail when he avoided the draft during World War Two (which he did in opposition to Allied saturation bombing).[5] It was during those post-graduation years that he met Randall Jarrell, converted to Roman Catholicism, and wrote the poems that would become Land of Unlikeness and Lord Weary's Castle.[6] He would continue to write in Mills of the Kavanaughs, a series of monologues, though it was his 1959 poetic autobiography Life Studies that would establish the genre of confessional poetry for which he known for creating.[7]

In the 1960s he furthered the movement for confessional poetry.[8] The autobiographical theme is reflected to varying degrees in his following works, For the Union Dead (1964), Near the Ocean (1967), Notebook: Nineteen Sixty-Seven to Nineteen Sixty-Eight (1969), Day by Day (1977), and Last Poems (1977).[9] He won a second Pulitzer Prize for The Dolphin and worked in his later years to translate Racine's Phaedre, Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, and the works of various European poets including Charles Baudelaire.[10]

He died on September 12, 1977 on the way to see his wife, returning from the airport in a taxicab after visiting Ireland.[11]

References

External links