Robert Lowell

(1917 - 1977 / Boston / United States)

Man And Wife - Poem by Robert Lowell

Tamed by Miltown, we lie on Mother's bed;
the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;
in broad daylight her gilded bed-posts shine,
abandoned, almost Dionysian.
At last the trees are green on Marlborough Street,
blossoms on our magnolia ignite
the morning with their murderous five day's white.
All night I've held your hand,
as if you had
a fourth time faced the kingdom of the mad -
its hackneyed speech, its homicidal eye -
and dragged me home alive. . . . Oh my Petite,
clearest of all God's creatures, still all air and nerve:
you were in your twenties, and I,
once hand on glass
and heart in mouth,
outdrank the Rahvs in the heat
of Greenwich Village, fainting at your feet -
too boiled and shy
and poker-faced to make a pass,
while the shrill verve
of your invective scorched the traditional South.

Now twelve years later, you turn your back.
Sleepless, you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child,
your old-fashioned tirade -
loving, rapid, merciless -
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head.

Comments about Man And Wife by Robert Lowell

  • Susan Williams (1/21/2018 4:18:00 PM)

    Very alive in its descriptives whether they be gorgeous visuals or silken criticisms. It has more realism than most love poems that is for sure. Love these closing lines- -your old-fashioned tirade -
    loving, rapid, merciless -
    breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head.
    (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/21/2018 2:13:00 PM)

    Such a great write by Robert Lowell👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/21/2018 9:50:00 AM)

    'Tamed by Miltown, we lie on Mother's bed;
    the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;
    nice start to the poem. A nice poem. Enjoyed.
    (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (1/21/2018 8:38:00 AM)

    For those of us who like to use rhyme, this is another good example. Lowell’s rhymes flow naturally, seem accidental, which he achieves largely through varying line length.

    I can’t say why, but I most like the description in the last two lines of the first stanza, though they’re not alone for their freshness.

    (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2017 2:42:00 AM)

    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal (Report) Reply

  • (5/11/2007 4:59:00 PM)

    Report mid=5316519
    Compliments of the day to you.
    I am Miss nenita fred I am single,23yrs.However How are you? hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health.I went through your profile and i read it and took intersest in it, if you don't mind i will like to know you much better, although i came online to look for a true and loving man that is ready for a true, honest and loving relationship and will be able to take good care of me if you are the kind of man am talking about then send me a mail now on my private email ( included, so that i will tell you all about myself and a picture of myself.looking forward to hear from you, thanks and God bless
    miss nenita
    Already Reported Reply

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Read poems about / on: ocean, war, child, mother, green, red, home, sun, god, night, time, heart, children, tree, rose

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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