Robert Lowell, with Elizabeth Bishop, stands apart as the greatest American poet of the latter half of the twentieth centuryand Life Studies and For the Union Dead stand as among his most important volumes. In Life Studies, which was first published in 1959, Lowell moved away from the formality of his earlier poems and started writing in a more confessional vein. The title poem of For the Union Dead concerns the death of the Civil War hero (and Lowell ancestor) Robert Gould Shaw, but it also largely centers on the contrast between Boston's idealistic past and its debased present at the time of its writing, in the early 1960's. Throughout, Lowell addresses contemporaneous subjects in a voice and style that themselves push beyond the accepted forms and constraints of the time.
About the Author
Robert Lowell (1917-1977) was the author of a dozen volumes of poetry, for which he twice received the Pulitzer Prize.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a difficult read for me to get through--there were a few poems here and there that stood out as ones I'd want to come back to, but most of them were interesting enough as I pass them...but they didn't stop me in any way. The poems in these volumes that you've heard of, you've heard of for a reason...but the others fade into the background much too easily.