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Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
Many of Robert Lowell's later works were drawn from personal experience and his collection Life Studies is considered by many to have changed the landscape of modern poetry...
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Epilogue

 
by Robert Lowell

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write 
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.






From Day by Day by Robert Lowell, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1975, 1976, 1977 by Robert Lowell. Used by permission.
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