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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

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I cut myself upon the thought of you
And yet I come back to it again and again,
A kind of fury makes me want to draw you out
From the dimness of the present
And set you sharply above me in a wheel of roses.
Then, going obviously to inhale their fragrance,
I touch the blade of you and

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Why do the lilies goggle their tongues at me
When I pluck them;
And writhe, and twist,
And strangle themselves against my fingers,
So that I can hardly weave the garland
For your hair?
Why do they shriek your name
And spit at me
When I would cluster them?
Must I kill

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Little