Book: Collected Poems Author: Robert Lowell Price: Faber, £40
At Robert Lowell’s funeral in Boston in 1977, there were 600 mourners; obituaries called him the best poet of his generation. Twenty-six years later, Lowell’s Collected Poems has finally been published, and the principal question for reviewers is the dip in Lowell’s poetic “stock”: the best-known American poet of his day has, in just decades, faded from view, curricula, canons, anthologies.
Vagaries of reputation are nothing new; we know that making the front page of the New York Times, or being called “the greatest poet writing in English,” as Lowell did…
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