By Kathleen Spivack
In 1959 Kathleen Spivack gained a fellowship to check at Boston college with Robert Lowell. Her fellow scholars have been Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, between others. therefore all started a dating with the recognized poet and his circle that may final to the top of his lifestyles in 1977 and past. Spivack offers a lovingly rendered tale of her time between one of the most esteemed artists of a iteration. half memoir, half unfastened choice of anecdotes, inventive issues, and soulful but clear-eyed memories of a misplaced time and position, hers is an intimate portrait of the usually affliction Lowell, the good and close to nice artists he attracted, his instructing tools, his deepest global, and the numerous legacy he left to his scholars. in the course of the tale of a younger artist discovering her poetic voice between literary giants, Spivack thoughtfully considers how poets paintings. She seems at friendships, habit, depression, perseverance and survival, and the way social alterations altered lives and conditions. it is a fantastically written portrait of pals who enjoyed and lived phrases, and made nice good looks together.
A touching and deeply revealing look at the lives and concepts of a few of the main influential artists of the 20th century, With Robert Lowell and His Circle will attract writers, scholars, and considerate literary readers, in addition to to students.
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Extra info for With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz & Others
Nor in the juvenilia in Lowell’s class. Focused around her own goals, she was pleasant but noncommittal. We talked a bit before class from time to time, as we both got there early. Sometimes she seemed restless, agitated beneath that extraordinary still31 With Robert Lowell & His Circle ness. She hardly interacted with the other students, her head bent in a book, pretending to ignore the comings and goings, the chair scrapings, nervous throat clearings, and so forth that accompanied the beginning of class.
He also occasionally shared his poems with us, reading a draft of “Ford Maddox Ford” in a groping voice. What on earth was it about? I wondered. I prayed silently for help, tried not to roll my eyes. Oh, please! ”17 A poem examined in class might be only a springboard into Lowell’s imagination. After Lowell read a poem aloud, he pressed the class for deeper and deeper meaning. I remember one grueling session with “Homage to the British Museum,” by William Empson. A fairly straightforward poem, Lowell was determined to wrest deep significance from it.
My mother was dubious. So was I. What kind of an adventure was I embarking upon? Coming to Boston was uncertain, and a bit gloomy. My mother did not say anything, but I sensed her sympathy. I had not yet met Robert Lowell, and had only an assurance to go on. My mother took me downtown and bought me a proper winter coat. As usual in emotional situations, a paralyzing indecision attacked me, and I couldn’t decide which coat to get. I felt we would never get out of Filene’s department store, as I tried on coat after coat and felt more and more hopeless.