poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

occasions

About this Poem 

“A Fixed Idea” was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1910, then published in Lowell’s collection A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass (Houghton Mifflin, 1912). 

A Fixed Idea

What torture lurks within a single thought
When grown too constant; and however kind,
However welcome still, the weary mind
Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught
Remembers on unceasingly; unsought
The old delight is with us but to find
That all recurring joy is pain refined,
Become a habit, and we struggle, caught.
You lie upon my heart as on a nest,
Folded in peace, for you can never know
How crushed I am with having you at rest
Heavy upon my life. I love you so
You bind my freedom from its rightful quest.
In mercy lift your drooping wings and go.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's O'Clock.

by this poet

poem
          Thou father of the children of my brain
           By thee engendered in my willing heart,
           How can I thank thee for this gift of art
          Poured out so lavishly, and not in vain.

          What thou created never more can die,
           Thy fructifying power lives in me
           And
poem
          I know a country laced with roads,
           They join the hills and they span the brooks,
          They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
           And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
          They are canopied like a Persian dome
           And carpeted with orient dyes
poem
Over the shop where silk is sold
Still the dragon kites are flying.