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Shades of AuthorityThe Poetry of Lowell, Hill and Heaney$
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Stephen James

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311178

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314049

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The Burden of Power

The Burden of Power

(p.9) The Burden of Power
Shades of Authority
Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the poetry of Robert Lowell. It argues that the praise heaped on Lowell's work presents him as a major poet of his own time but a minor figure of ours. Lowell's diminishing stature among contemporary readers could be attributed to the shift in expectations and tastes of poetry readers away from the kind of poetry that Lowell is seen to represent, and the collapse of a belief in, or appetite for, the poet as cultural spokesperson — and this, for better or worse, is a salient aspect of Lowell's public image. The analysis includes the poems ‘The March’ and ‘Waking Early Sunday Morning’, his collections, and his many other works adapted from literary forebears.

Keywords:   Robert Lowell, poets, poetry, collections

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