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Iconic poets of confessional school of poetry
Robert Lowell (1917-77) a US poet who won Pulitzer Prizes for two books of poems, Lord Weary's Castle (1946) and The Dolphin (1973). His other collections included Life Studies (1959), For the Union Dead (1964) and Day by Day (1977). Lowell used `confessional poetry' to write about his problems and his unhappy marriages. He also wrote plays and translated the work of European poets.
The one who died of natural causes
A very influential figure
The fact that he decided to write personal poetry, confessional poetry was of great symbolic significance, shaped the school
By the 50s when he turned to confessional poetry, American poets continues the modernist tradition
Decided to abandon the tradition, started writing poetry that defined principles which he believed.
His change of tone, focus on theme - important stimulus for those who followed in the 60s
Major volumes of confessional poetry by Lowell:
Life Studies - presents poetic fashion, complicated relation with his family. Had father, an officer in American Navy, didn't get gentle attention from his father. Felt compelled to deal with family legacy (Lowells - one of the most prominent family in Boston). The family produced three great literary figures. He was the third in succession. Before him were James Russell Lowell (2) and Amy Lowell (1); Lowell also didn't have a happy life when he grew up and started his family, divorced his first wife, married again; from his fear that he failed in family roles
For the Union Dead - focus is less on the family and more on history - national history; offers personal reinterpretation of American history through episodes of his personal life.
WWII lost “conscientious objector” - referred to period in army - was placed in prison. The experience which influenced his notion of personal experience of nation.
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JOHN BARRYMAN was an American poet, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and often considered one of the founders of the Confessional school of poetry. He was the author of The Dream Songs, which are playful, witty, and morbid. Berryman committed suicide in 1972.
As a child was a witness of father's suicide - trauma which he apparently never overcome He killed himself jumping from the bridge in Minneapolis
Dream Songs - collection of poems; unhappy life, father committed suicide, had a step-father; divorced twice
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Anne Saxton was an influential American poet and writer known for her highly personal, confessional poetry
… to recover from a nervous breakdown To Bedlam and Half Way Back
Bedlam - the most famous hospital for mental people
Multiple symbolic interpretation - impossible ro recover from a condition
Sylvia Plath (1932-63) a US writer who lived in Britain. She is considered an important poet of her generation. Her work is very personal and towards the end of her life she often wrote about death. She…
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