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Lowell, Amy (1874-1925)  
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Most notable in this capacity, Lowell brought Imagism from England to the United States. In 1913, Lowell read some poetry by "H.D., Imagiste" in Harriet Monroe's little magazine, Poetry, and immediately recognized in it an affinity with her own work: "direct treatment of the thing," no superfluous language, the rhythm of music rather than traditional poetic meter--the defining traits of Imagism.

Hilda Doolittle's appearance in Poetry had been the project of another poet, promoter, and strong personality, Ezra Pound. Later in 1913, Lowell traveled to England to meet H.D. and to learn more about what she could do in the service of Imagism, which she thought of as the very future of poetry.

As Lowell's reputation and success as champion of Imagism in the United States grew, publishing three volumes of Some Imagist Poets from 1915 to 1917, Ezra Pound grew more furious, believing he had been deposed as head of a movement he considered his rightful domain. He withdrew his participation, moving on to Vorticism and hoping to defame Lowell by scoffing "Amygisme" and supporting spoofs and jibes directed at her.

Still, Imagism under the promotion and practice of Lowell represents a major development in American poetry. Eventually, though, Lowell came to believe less and less in the principles of any particular school of poetic expression and committed her energies to writing her two-volume biography of John Keats, which she dedicated to Ada Russell, and to developing "polyphonic prose," a style of lyric prose marked by crafted patterns of sound and imagery.

Her Keats was a great success in the United States, but critics received it poorly in England, where they viewed her work as presumptuous and an affront to British literary history. Yet again, it seems, her work was dismissed on personal bases--her gender, her size, her sexuality, her personal style, and in the case of Keats, her nationality. Still, her permanent contributions to literature and American poetry are undeniable.

Carolyn Leste Law

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literature >> Doolittle, Hilda

The bisexual poet and novelist Hilda Doolittle, who published under the initials H. D., wrote poems and autobiographical prose works that celebrate women's romantic relationships with each other.

literature >> Teasdale, Sara

As reflected in her poetry, the strongest emotional relationships in Sara Teasdale's life were with women.


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

Faderman, Lillian. "Warding off the Watch and Ward Society: Amy Lowell's Treatment of the Lesbian Theme." Gay Books Bulletin 1.2 (Summer 1979): 23-27.

Gould, Jean. "Amy Lowell: Imagism and Surrealism." American Women Poets: Pioneers of Modern Poetry. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1980. 29-65.

_____. Amy: The World of Amy Lowell and the Imagist Movement. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1975.

Lowell, Amy. Complete Poetical Works. Intro. Louis Untermeyer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955.


    Citation Information
    Author: Law, Carolyn Leste  
    Entry Title: Lowell, Amy  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated July 24, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  


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