Robert Lowell

Poet, Author

1917 – 1977

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Who was Robert Lowell?

Robert Traill Spence "Cal" Lowell IV was an American poet. He was born into a Boston Brahmin family that could trace its origins back to the Mayflower. His family, past and present, were important subjects in his poetry. Growing up in Boston also informed his poems, which were frequently set in Boston and the New England region.

Lowell stated, "The poets who most directly influenced me ... were Allen Tate, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Carlos Williams. An unlikely combination!..... but you can see that Bishop is a sort of bridge between Tate's formalism and Williams's informal art." Lowell was capable of writing both formal, metered verse as well as free verse; some of his verse, in some poems from Life Studies and Notebook, fell somewhere in between metered and free verse.

After the publication of his 1959 book Life Studies, which won the 1960 National Book Award and "featured a new emphasis on intense, uninhibited discussion of personal, family, and psychological struggles," he was considered an important part of the confessional poetry movement.

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Born
Mar 1, 1917
Boston
Also known as
  • Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV
  • Lowell, Robert
  • Cal
  • Robert Traill Spence "Cal" Lowell IV
Parents
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • White American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Bachelor of Arts, Kenyon College
    Classics
    (1937 - 1940)
  • Harvard University
  • St. Mark's School
  • Harvard College
  • Louisiana State University
    English Literature
    (1940 - 1941)
Lived in
  • England
    ( - 1977/09/12)
Died
Sep 12, 1977
New York City

Submitted
on July 23, 2013