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When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.
Public domain. “A Decade” appeared in Pictures of the Floating World (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921). A facsimile of the entire book is available on the Internet Archive for free by clicking here.
Amy Lowell, born on February 9, 1874 in Brookline, Massachusetts, was a poet, critic, and editor affiliated with the Imagist movement. Her books include What’s O’Clock (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925), which posthumously won her the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She died on May 12, 1925. Lowell’s partner Ada Dwyer Russell was the subject of many of Lowell’s romantic poems, and Lowell wanted to dedicate her books to Russell, but Russell would not allow that, and relented only once for Lowell’s biography of John Keats, in which Lowell wrote, “To A.D.R., This, and all my books. A.L.” Examples of these love poems to Russell include A Decade, The Taxi, Absence, A Lady, In a Garden, Madonna of the Evening Flowers, Opal, and Aubade. Lowell admitted to John Livingston Lowes that Russell was the subject of her series of romantic poems titled “Two Speak Together”. Lowell’s poems about Russell have been called the most explicit and elegant lesbian love poetry during the time between the ancient Sappho and poets of the 1970s. Most of the private correspondence in the form of romantic letters between the two were destroyed by Russell at Lowell’s request, leaving much unknown about the details of their life together.
Amy Lowell’s love poems❤️
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Always wanted to go back to read AL’s poems. She’s a fine translator of Chinese poetry too.
Yes, she was a prolific poet the last ten years of her life.
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She is so great!
She really is a wonderful poet. And she was extremely influential in helping many modern poets, including Robert Frost, find an audience.