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Amy Lowell

  • All books are either dreams or swords, / You can cut, or you can drug, with words.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • title poem, Sword Blades and Poppy Seed ()
  • Rapture's self is three parts sorrow.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Happiness." Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds ()
  • Happiness, to some, elation; / Is, to others, mere stagnation.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Happiness." Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds ()
  • Even pain / Pricks to livelier living ...

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Happiness." Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds ()
  • For the man who should loose me is dead, / Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, / In a pattern called a war. / Christ! What are patterns for?

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Patterns," Men, Women and Ghosts ()
  • Youth condemns; maturity condones.

  • Art, true art, is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.

  • Poetry is the most concentrated form of literature; it is the most emotionalized and powerful way in which thought can be presented ...

  • Love is a game — yes? / I think it is a drowning.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Twenty-Four Hokku on a Modern Theme," What's O'Clock ()
  • I know that a creed is the shell of a lie.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Evelyn Ray," What's O'Clock ()
  • Do we want laurels for ourselves most, / Or most that no one else shall have any?

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "La Ronde du Diable," What's O'Clock ()
  • May is much sunshine through small leaves.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "May," What's O'Clock? ()
  • And now a month has passed and not a word have I had from you, / Not so much as a scrawl to say you could not write!

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "A Communication," Ballads for Sale ()
  • But a place is nothing, not even space, / Unless at its heart a figure stands.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Thorn Piece," Ballads for Sale ()
  • What is the thing I would say to you / Ere the time when we can say nothing at all, / Neither you to me nor I to you, / And between us is sprung a smoky wall?

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "On Christmas Eve," Ballads for Sale ()
  • What are poems but words / Set edgewise up like children's blocks / To build a structure no one can inhabit.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "One! Two! Three!" Ballads for Sale ()
  • Light is forever, / For the fire of the sky has no end.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Dance Figure," Ballads for Sale ()
  • I never deny poems when they come; whatever I am doing, whatever I am writing, I lay it aside and attend to the arriving poem.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "The Process of Making Poetry," Poetry and Poets: Essays ()
  • The stigma of oddness is the price a myopic world always exacts of a genius.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "A Memoir," in Louis Untermeyer, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell ()
  • How hard, how desperately hard, is the way of the experimenter in art!

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "A Memoir," in Louis Untermeyer, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell ()
  • I do not suppose that anyone not a poet can realize the agony of creating a poem. Every nerve, even every muscle, seems strained to the breaking point. The poem will not be denied; to refuse to write it would be a greater torture. It tears its way out of the brain, splintering and breaking its passage, and leaves that organ in the state of a jelly-fish when the task is done.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "A Memoir," in Louis Untermeyer, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell ()
  • For books are more than books, they are the life, / The very heart and core of ages past. / The reason why men lived, and worked, and died, / The essence and quintessence of their lives.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "The Boston Athenaeum," in Louis Untermeyer, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell ()

Amy Lowell, U.S. poet, critic, biographer

(1874 - 1925)

Full name: Amy Lawrence Lowell.