“It revealed to me poetry’s fulfilling subversion. A woman wanders her patterned flower garden holding a letter, the letter that holds the news that her beau has just been killed in the war—‘Christ! What are patterns for!’ is the refrain. It was that ‘Christ’ appearing in a high school textbook in Bible Belt, Ohio, that was so radical. Later I would discover other radical moves of Ms. Lowell’s: interlocking prose and poetry in a single piece, e.g., a mode she called ‘polyphonic prose.’ Her life, too, in many ways outGertruded Ms. Stein, albeit from a Boston Brahmin locale. And her great battles with Ezra Pound, who branded her version of Imagism, ‘Amygism’....“She was a formidable, independent, independently wealthy and eccentric woman, the epitome of an oddball modernist poet. She wrote more than 650 poems, published several collections of critical essays evaluating her poetic contemporaries and forebears and a massive biography of John Keats, and edited three volumes of Imagist poets, but she was considered a minor poet and her work was largely forgotten after her death—until the women’s movement in the 1970s brought her poems back into the light.
In 2001, Holman heard Joan Joffe Hall read her Amy Lowell poem, reimagining the moment of Lowell’s sudden death at home at 51 of a cerebral hemorrhage, and was prompted to exclaim “Here’s the news in poetry: an overlooked minor poet leaps from the page to remind us what it’s all about.” Amy Lowell’s poems pop up in various thematic and seasonal collections here at About.com Poetry:
- “Patterns,” “The Allies,” “The Bombardment” and “A Ballad of Footmen” are all in our Poems of War and Remembrance.
- “In Excelsis” is collected among our classic Love Poems.
- “Spring Day,” a sequence of Prose Poems, is also in our Spring Poems collection.
- “Summer” is in our Summer Poems anthology.
- An excerpt from her poem “The Congressional Library” is in our 4th of July gathering of Poems for Independence Day.
- Two poems with the same title, “Autumn,” are collected in our Poems for the Fall Season.
- “Behind a Wall” is among our Garden Poems.
- “Storm-Racked” is part of our Storm Poems collection.