Robert Lowell: A Poet of Many Talents

1. Introduction:

It is evident from Lowell’s works that he has borrowed various elements from different genres, making his works interesting to read. This paper intends to provide a brief sketch of the poet and discuss the genre in which Lowell has excelled the most.

2. A brief sketch of the poet:

Lowells was born on March 1, 1917, in Boston, Massachusetts, to a wealthy family. His father, Percival Lowells, was a successful businessman, and his mother, Harriet Winslow Lowells, was a socialite. After graduating from Harvard University in 1939, Lowell traveled to Europe on a fellowship. He returned to the United States in 1940 and married the novelist Jean Stafford. The couple had one son, Sheridan.
In 1941, Lowell began teaching at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He resigned his position after two years and returned to Massachusetts. In 1946, he began teaching at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. He taught there for two years before returning to Harvard as a visiting professor. He remained at Harvard until 1948, when he was fired for having an affair with one of his students.
Lowell then moved to New York City and became a part of the New York intellectual scene. He befriended such writers as W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Randall Jarrell. In 1949, he married the writer Elizabeth Hardwick; the couple had two children, Harriet and Robert.
In 1952, Lowell published his first book of poems, Land of Unlikeness. The collection was well received by critics and established Lowell as a major talent. His next book of poems, Lord Weary’s Castle (1946), won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. In 1947, he published The Mills of the Kavanaughs, a verse play based on the life of an Irish-American family in Massachusetts in the late 19th century. In 1959, he published Life Studies, a groundbreaking book that signaled a change in direction for American poetry. The book was critically acclaimed and won several awards, including the National Book Award.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Lowell continued to publish widely praised poetry collections while also working on translations of ancient Greek tragedies and writing plays and prose essays. In 1977, he was named poet laureate of the United States; he held the position until his death in 1977.

3. The genre in which Lowell has excelled the most:

Though Lowell has dabbled into many genres like fiction, drama etc., it is poetry where he has truly excelled. His Pulitzer prize winning poem ‘Lord Weary’s Castle’ is considered one of his best works which establish him as one of the greatest talents of his generation. His other works like ‘Land of Unlikeness’ and ‘The Mills of the Kavanaughs’ are also widely acclaimed by critics and readers alike. It is evident from these works that Lowell is extremely skilled in using language to create beautiful images and evoke emotion in his readers.

4. Conclusion:

In conclusion, it can be said that Lowell is a highly talented poet who has managed to create some truly beautiful works of art using words alone. He is definitely one of the most important writers of his generation and will continue to be remembered long after his death


The author's purpose in writing this book is to provide an overview of contemporary literary criticism.

The intended audience for this book is scholars and students of literature.

The author defines "contemporary literary criticism" as the study of literature that focuses on the period from the mid-20th century to the present day.

Some of the key ideas and arguments presented in this book include an examination of the major schools of thought within contemporary literary criticism, as well as a discussion of the most influential critics and theorists working within this field.

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