The Old Flame
My old flame, my wife!
Remember our lists of birds?
One morning last summer, I drove
by our house in Maine. It was still
on top of its hill -
Now a red ear of Indian maize
was splashed on the door.
Old Glory with thirteen stripes
hung on a pole. The clapboard
was old-red schoolhouse red.
Inside, a new landlord,
a new wife, a new broom!
Atlantic seaboard antique shop
pewter and plunder
shone in each room.
A new frontier!
No running next door
now to phone the sheriff
for his taxi to Bath
and the State Liquor Store!
No one saw your ghostly
stare through the window
the scarf at his throat.
Health to the new people,
health to their flag, to their old
restored house on the hill!
Everything had been swept bare,
furnished, garnished and aired.
Everything's changed for the best -
how quivering and fierce we were,
there snowbound together,
simmering like wasps
in our tent of books!
Poor ghost, old love, speak
with your old voice
of flaming insight
that kept us awake all night.
In one bed and apart,
we heard the plow
groaning up hill -
a red light, then a blue,
as it tossed off the snow
to the side of the road.
Robert Lowell's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Old Flame by Robert Lowell )
- I Dry My Tears, Poetic Lilly Emery
- Valley of an autumn's night, Raluca Mitra
- The stars that touch a rose is the star.., Raymond Sawyer
- *Halloween Stroll, Alice Vedral Rivera
- चाँद रात में सैर, Rajnish Manga
- Oil In White Robe, Okoemu Barnabas
- I Could Have Loved You, Sandra Feldman
- I Don't Feel Like A Poet Today, Buxton Shippy
- A weirdo, Amgad Samy
- an act, Billie Lynn Minear
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Unity is Strength, S.D. TIWARI
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
- Wait, Galway Kinnell
(1 February 1927)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- Heather Burns
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)