Harriet Monroe: On Amy Lowell's Poetry

It has interested Miss Lowell to explore many fields and study all forms. Beginning—in the Atlantic about fifteen years ago—with sonnets and other exactitudes, and writing her 1912 book [A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass] entirely in rhyme or blank verse, she was attracted to the imagists from their first appearance towards the end of that year, studied their ideas and technique, and joined the group to the extent of appearing in the three Some Imagists anthologies of 1915-16-17. In her six books of verse are lyrics, grotesques, narratives; in rhyme, blank verse, free verse and the "polyphonic prose" which, with scholarly intuition of values, she adapted and modified from the French. . . . In A Fable for Critics, she has tried her hand, like Byron, at a lightly running satirical handling of her contemporaries.

In all this astonishing variety one feels power. Behind it all is the drive and urge of a rich and strong personality. The force which Miss Lowell’s New England ancestors put into founding and running cotton-mills, or belike into saving souls, she puts into conquering an art and making it express and serve her. . . .

One detects a certain scientific rapture in many of Miss Lowell’s interesting experiments in technique. She delights in the rush and clatter of sounds, in the kaleidoscopic glitter of colors, even though the emotional or intellectual motive goes somewhat astray among them In a few poems in the imagist anthologies—"Spring Day," for example—one’s ears and eyes feel fairly battered; still more in the Can Grande essays in polyphonic prose. She is most definitely true to the imagist technique in brief poems like some of the Lacquer Prints.

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Criticism Overview
Title Harriet Monroe: On Amy Lowell's Poetry Type of Content General Poet Criticism
Criticism Author Harriet Monroe Criticism Target Amy Lowell
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 12 Jan 2019
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Poets and Their Art
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