Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell Poems

I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
...

When you, my Dear, are away, away,
How wearily goes the creeping day.
A year drags after morning, and night
Starts another year of candle light.
...

You are beautiful and faded
Like an old opera tune
Played upon a harpsichord;
Or like the sun-flooded silks
...

I ask but one thing of you, only one,
That always you will be my dream of you;
That never shall I wake to find untrue
All this I have believed and rested on,
...

High up above the open, welcoming door
It hangs, a piece of wood with colours dim.
Once, long ago, it was a waving tree
And knew the sun and shadow through the leaves
...

I learnt to write to you in happier days,
And every letter was a piece I chipped
From off my heart, a fragment newly clipped
From the mosaic of life; its blues and grays,
...

On winter nights beside the nursery fire
We read the fairy tale, while glowing coals
Builded its pictures. There before our eyes
We saw the vaulted hall of traceried stone
...

As I would free the white almond from the green husk
So I would strip your trappings off,
Beloved.
And fingering the smooth and polished kernel
...

They have watered the street,
It shines in the glare of lamps,
Cold, white lamps,
And lies
...

Be not angry with me that I bear
   Your colours everywhere,
   All through each crowded street,
   And meet
...

Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
...

Little cramped words scrawling all over
the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
...

13.

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
...

What torture lurks within a single thought
When grown too constant, and however kind,
However welcome still, the weary mind
Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught
...

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
...

He shouts in the sails of the ships at sea,
He steals the down from the honeybee,
He makes the forest trees rustle and sing,
He twirls my kite till it breaks its string.
...

17.

I do not care to talk to you although
Your speech evokes a thousand sympathies,
And all my being's silent harmonies
Wake trembling into music. When you go
...

18.

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
...

Glinting golden through the trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Through the moon-pierced warp of night
Shoot pale shafts of yellow light,
...

20.

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
...

Amy Lowell Biography

an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. Personal Life Lowell was born into Brookline's prominent Lowell family, sister to astronomer Percival Lowell and Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell. She never attended college because her family did not consider that proper for a woman, but she compensated with avid reading and near-obsessive book collecting. She lived as a socialite and travelled widely, turning to poetry in 1902 after being inspired by a performance of Eleonora Duse in Europe. Lowell was said to be lesbian, and in 1912 she and actress Ada Dwyer Russell were reputed to be lovers. Russell is reputed to be the subject of her more erotic work, most notably the love poems contained in 'Two Speak Together', a subsection of Pictures of the Floating World. The two women traveled to England together, where Lowell met Ezra Pound, who at once became a major influence and a major critic of her work. Pound considered her embrace of Imagism to be a kind of hi-jacking of the movement, and among his friends he referred to her as the "hippo-poetess". Lowell has been linked romantically to writer Mercedes de Acosta, but the only evidence of any contact between them is a brief correspondence about a planned memorial for Duse. Lowell died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1925 at the age of 51. The following year, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for What's O'Clock. That collection included the patriotic poem "Lilacs", which Louis Untermeyer said was the poem of hers he liked best. Career Her first published work appeared in 1910 in Atlantic Monthly. The first published collection of her poetry, A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass, appeared two years later in 1912. An additional group of uncollected poems was added to the volume The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell, published in 1955 with an introduction by Louis Untermeyer, who considered himself her friend. Though she sometimes wrote sonnets, Lowell was an early adherent to the "free verse" method of poetry and one of the major champions of this method. Untermeyer writes that "She was not only a disturber but an awakener." In many poems she dispenses with line breaks so that the work looks like prose on the page. This technique she labeled "polyphonic prose". Throughout her working life Lowell was a promoter of both contemporary and historical poets. Her book Fir-Flower Poets was a poetical re-working of literal translations of the works of ancient Chinese poets, notably Li Tai-po (A.D. 701-762). Her writing also included critical works on French literature. When she died she was attempting to complete her two-volume biography of John Keats. Writing of Keats, Lowell said that "The stigma of oddness is the price a myopic world always exacts of genius." Lowell was a short but imposing figure who kept her hair in a bun and wore a pince-nez. She smoked cigars constantly, claiming that they lasted longer than cigarettes. A glandular problem kept her perpetually overweight, so that poet Witter Bynner once said, in a cruel comment repeated by Ezra Pound. and thereafter commonly misattributed to him, that she was a "hippopoetess." Lowell not only published her own work but also that of other writers. According to Untermyer, she "captured" the Imagist movement from Ezra Pound. Pound threatened to sue her for bringing out her three-volume series Some Imagist Poets, and thereafter called the American Imagists the "Amygist" movement. Pound criticized her as not an imagist but merely a rich woman who was able to financially assist the publication of imagist poetry. She said that Imagism was weak before she took it up, whereas others said it became weak after Pound's "exile" towards Vorticism. Altercation with F. Holland Day Lowell was frustrated in composing her biography of Keats by the famous publisher and photographer, F. Holland Day. Day, alongside an unrivaled possession of Keatsiana, possessed exclusive copies of Fanny Brawne's letters to Keats. Fanny was the woman whom Keats had unsuccessfully pursued and the letters were therefore of considerable biographical interest. Lowell, who hoped to publish the definitive volume of biography, was forced to pursue a reluctant and rather mischievously reticent Day for these artifacts with little success. Legacy In the post-World War II years, Lowell, like other women writers, was largely forgotten, but with the renaissance of the women's movement in the 1970s, women's studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism. Additional sources of interest in Lowell today come from the anti-war sentiment of the oft-taught poem "Patterns"; her personification of inanimate objects, as in "The Green Bowl," and "The Red Lacquer Music Stand"; and her lesbian themes, including the love poems addressed to Ada Dwyer Russell in "Two Speak Together" and her poem "The Sisters" which addresses her female poetic predecessors.)

The Best Poem Of Amy Lowell

Patterns

I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden-paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the
buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover.
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he
clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon--
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the
Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Amy Lowell Comments

Deepanshu zinder 19 June 2018

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3 11 Reply
Alisha Javed 02 July 2019

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0 3 Reply
alisha javed 02 July 2019

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alia bhatt 02 July 2019

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Dhanush 16 September 2018

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1 10 Reply
Priti 07 August 2018

I like this poem very much .i like

4 7 Reply

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