Amy Lowell: An Annotated Bibliography



Benvenuto, Richard. Amy Lowell. Boston:Twayne Publishers, 1985.

This 1985 biography devotes its first 30 pages to Lowell's background and early years. The bulk of Benvenuto's text explores the poet's work, relationships, influences and attitudes. The text includes a chronology which records Lowell's first, most significant and lasting visual influence, woman; more specifically, the actress Eleanora Duse in 1902 (Lowell was 27). The classical and natural influences are also explored through an examination of 1912's A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass and poems such as "Roads."

Crunden, Robert M. American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism,1885-1917. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Chapter two of Crunden's Salons focuses on Chicago and includes information regarding the relationships among the poets Harriet Monroe, Ezra Pound and the irascible Miss Lowell. The Lowell/Pound feud is also addressed in Book III, where Crunden discusses "London and Ezra Pound." The influences of painting and music on the poetry of the period is explored.

Flint, F. Cudworth. Amy Lowell. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1969.

This pamphlet by then professor of English emeritus Flint of Dartmouth describes (briefly) Lowell's life and (more thoroughly) her work, including her support of D. H. Lawrence and her interests in classical, intensely visual, Asian and anthropological approaches to poetry. Flint's evaluation of the 1919 volume Pictures of the Floating World and 1921's Legends gives examples of Lowell's polyphonic prose as "orchestral form" (29).

Drake, William. The First Wave: Women Poets in America, 1915-1945. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

Drake traces the rise of women poets from the beginning of the First World War through the end of the second. In addition to his analysis of Lowell and her role in the Imagist movement, Drake examines the careers of Sara Teasdale, Edna St. Vincent Millay and others in light of their situations as daughters, writers, matriarchs, friends and radicals. Lowell herself is viewed as an influential and pioneering writer who began a diary at fifteen, originally to record her need for and appreciation of feminine relationships, relationships which were to figure prominently in her subsequent works.

Gould, Jean. Amy: The World of Amy Lowell and The Imagist Movement. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1975.

An extensive biography which explores Lowell as a "militant literary leader" and driving force behind the Imagist movement. Gould delves into the difficulties Lowell faced as a result of her obesity and lesbian lifestyle, including Lowell's relationship with Ada Dwyer Russell. The elements which most strongly influenced Lowell (the beauty of her native New England, classical music and Russell among them) are illustrated through the retelling of Lowell's ambitious endeavors.

Jones, Margaret C. Heretics and Hellraisers: Women Contributors to The Masses, 1911-1917. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993.

Jones focuses on those women poets who contributed to the magazine The Masses. She makes a salient point in reminding us that, for some of these authors, the work they did for this publication was a significant departure from their routine, "a diversion from other activities" (20). For Lowell, who was both a reader and a contributor, The Masses proved to be a forum for opinion on political topics, including the unemployment problem, labor issues and exploitation, elements which she had observed, and, as a woman embracing Modernism, experienced.

Scott, Bonnie Kime. Refiguring Modernism: Volume One, The Women of 1928. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.

Bonnie Kime Scott divides her focus on the Modernists into three categories in this 1995 volume; Beginnings, The Men of 1914 and The Women of 1928. As Lowell was not a man (despite Ezra Pound's vituperative declarations to the contrary) and had died by 1925, this text might appear superfluous; however, Scott's treatment of Lowell and her influence on the Modernist and Imagist movements provides insight into the gender issues inherent in the craft. Scott also provides a useful description of the web as metaphor, particularly appropriate for the online Modernist.

Steinman, Lisa M. Made in America: Science, Technology, and American Modernist Poets. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.

Although this text does not focus on Amy Lowell specifically, its introductory pages do provide a useful and particularly visual definition and description of Modernism, its advent and aesthetic. Steinman's emphasis on "poetry's connection with practical reality" is useful in moving the reader toward a more solid explanation of what it was the Modernists were hoping to accomplish by "making it new" (9).

Walker, Cheryl. The Nightingale's Burden: Women Poets and American Culture before 1900. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.

Cheryl Walker's text focuses on women as poets, the founding of the tradition of the female poet and its effect on the individual writer. In her work on Lowell, Walker points out the poet's use of classical influences (i.e. music, in Lowell's "After Hearing a Waltz by Bartok") and the visual effects of Lowell's life in New England on her poetry (i.e. pieces such as "Roads" and "Lilacs").

Watts, Emily Stipes. The Poetry of American Women from 1632-1945. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977.

Emily Stipes Watts views Amy Lowell as an important poet of the twentieth century, one whose influence reached far beyond the Imagist movement. Watts has her doubts about Lowell's poetic voice, which she views as tenuous and searching. Nonetheless, she pronounces Lowell an important voice and examines complexity of her work through a study of the poet's most dominant influences: feminism ("Patterns"), female mythological characters ("The Captured Goddess"), the visual arts ("Impressionist Picture of a Garden") and music ("Violin Sonata by Vincent D'Indy"). This text provides one of the most thorough treatments of Lowell's visual influences.
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