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Title: A reading of the poetry of Robert Lowell in relation to developments in poetics since 1930
Author: Matterson, S. J.
Awarding Body: Sunderland Polytechnic
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 1982
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This thesis is an examination of how an original reading of Lowell's poetry may be made when his work is considered in relation to the move away from New Critical formalism. In Chapter I I investigate how far the critical ideas of John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate result from their shared philosophy and ideology. In Chapter II I begin the reading of Lowell's poetry, examining particularly how his formal poetics are supported by his faith and by a philosophy similar to that of Ransom and Tate. In Chapter III I show how with The Mills of the Kavanaughs (~95~) the intricate relationship between Lowell's faith and his poetics breaks down. In Chapter IV I explore the change in Lowell's poetics which Life Studies (1959) instituted, focussing closely on several poems. In Chapter V I examine poems from For the Union Dead (1964) and Near the Ocean (1967), in the context of the anti-formalism established in Lowell's style with Life Studies. I also consider the claim that Lowell is a "public" poet, and analyse the ways in which these books are "public." In Chapter VI I examine History (1973) and Day by Day (1977). These books insist on the provisional nature of poetry and its knowledge, and anticipate a decade of more radical anti-formalism. In the Conclusion I bring together the themes of the thesis and consider the claim that Lowell is a post-modernist writer. One of the conclusions I draw is that Lowell's changed poetics must be seen as the result of his personal loss of faith rather than reflecting only a dissatisfaction with the New Criticism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature Literature Mass media Performing arts