Lowell, Amy

[1874-1925]

(5)

Born in Brookline, Mass., Feb. 9, 1874. Educated at private schools. Author of "A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass", 1912; "Sword Blades and Poppy Seed", 1914; "Men, Women and Ghosts", 1916; "Can Grande's Castle", 1918; "Pictures of the Floating World", 1919. Editor of the three successive collections of "Some Imagist Poets", 1915, '16, and '17, containing the early work of the "Imagist School" of which Miss Lowell became the leader. This movement, of which we have spoken in the notes upon the work of "H. D." and John Gould Fletcher, originated in England, the idea having been first conceived by a young poet named T. E. Hulme, but developed and put forth by Ezra Pound in an article called "Don'ts by an Imagist", which appeared in `Poetry; A Magazine of Verse'. As previously stated, a small group of poets gathered about Mr. Pound, experimenting along the technical lines suggested, and a cult of "Imagism" was formed, whose first group-expression was in the little volume, "Des Imagistes", published in New York in April, 1914. Miss Lowell did not come actively into the movement until after that time, but once she had entered it, she became its leader, and it was chiefly through her effort in America that the movement attained so much prominence and so influenced the trend of poetry for the years immediately succeeding. Miss Lowell many times, in admirable articles, stated the principles upon which Imagism is based, notably in the Preface to "Some Imagist Poets" and in the Preface to the second series, in 1916. She also elaborated it much more fully in her volume, "Tendencies in Modern American Poetry", 1917, in the articles pertaining to the work of "H. D." and John Gould Fletcher. In her own creative work, however, Miss Lowell did most to establish the possibilities of the Imagistic idea and of its modes of presentation, and opened up many interesting avenues of poetic form. Her volume, "Can Grande's Castle", is devoted to work in the medium which she styled "Polyphonic Prose" and contains some of her finest work, particularly "The Bronze Horses".

[Amy Lowell won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926 (posthumous) for "What's O'Clock". — A. L., 1998.]