AMY LOWELL: Portrait of the Poet in her Time by Horace Gregory

AMY LOWELL: Portrait of the Poet in her Time

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though this is neither a specifically critical nor psychological study, Horace Gregory, in this biography of Amy Lowell, manages through his unflagging objectivity, to get at the core of the poet's work through an informal but meticulous investigation of her personality. Born into one of the most illustrious and conservative families of Boston, and maturing in a climate of artistic, social, and political revolution, Amy Lowell was to embody throughout her life a peculiar paradox. Noted for her cigar smoking, affiliated with such radicals as Max Eastman, Pound, and Lawrence, the stout spinster from first to last maintained much of the air of a proper Bostonian, deploring the wild rampages of her flaming female contemporaries. And despite her surface appearance of health subject throughout her life to long periods of despondency and ill health which could be stimulated by the least hint of criticism. Ultimately, Mr. Gregory, himself a poet, presents his subject as a dynamo of compensatory energy. Barred by her peculiar physique from normal avenues, she worked with fanatic zeal at being a poet and biographer, and though he concludes that her efforts were in an absolute sense only partially successful, she remains one of America's best known imagist poets. Mr. Gregory's biography includes compelling material on the peculiar moral revolution which culminated in the twenties, but is somewhat handicapped by what one feels is an objectivity bordering on distaste for his central character.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1958
Publisher: Nelson