Today's Memory

Amy Lowell’s birthday

Amy Lowell’s birthday

Amy Lowell’s birthday

Originally shared by Self-Rescuing Princess Society

Amy Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925)

Amy Lowell was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts, who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. She never attended college because her family did not consider it proper for a woman to do so. She compensated for this lack with avid reading and near-obsessive book collecting. She lived as a socialite and travelled widely, turning to poetry in 1902 (age 28) after being inspired by a performance of Eleonora Duse in Europe.

Lowell was said to be lesbian, and in 1912 she and actress Ada Dwyer Russell were reputed to be lovers. Russell is reputed to be the subject of Lowell’s more erotic works. In the post-World War I years, Lowell was largely forgotten, but the women’s movement in the 1970s and women’s studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism.

A Lady

You are beautiful and faded

Like an old opera tune

Played upon a harpsichord;

Or like the sun-flooded silks

Of an eighteenth-century boudoir.

In your eyes

Smoulder the fallen roses of out-lived minutes,

And the perfume of your soul

Is vague and suffusing,

With the pungence of sealed spice-jars.

Your half-tones delight me,

And I grow mad with gazing

At your blent colours.

My vigour is a new-minted penny,

Which I cast at your feet.

Gather it up from the dust,

That its sparkle may amuse you.

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