February 9 ~  A Rare Pattern Selected Poems of Amy Lowell

"I too am a rare pattern. As I wander down the garden paths." ~ Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

A rare pattern, poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925) was born on this day in Brookline, Massachusetts to a prestigious family.

Sensitive, argumentative, and passionate, she was inspired by the poetry of John Keats and wrote her first volume of poetry, Dome of Many-Coloured Glass, in 1912.

"All books," she wrote in Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds (1914), "are either dreams or swords."

Her new style of poetry, called Imagism, stressed the importance of concrete words, presented in free-verse, that she called "unrhymed cadence." Influential to her peers, she created precise words chosen without rhetoric or ornamentation.

"Employ always the exact word, not the nearly-exact," she explained, sparked by the years she spent studying Oriental art. She experimented with 17-syllable haiku poems and edited a collection of Chinese poetry.

"Do we want laurels for ourselves most,/Or most that no one else shall have any?" She questioned in La Ronde Du Diable, from the posthumously published collection What's o'clock, which earned Lowell the 1926 Pulitzer Prize.

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