Lowell was one of the twentieth century's most significant poets. Noted for his breath-taking changes of style and theme, he set the standard for poetry at mid-century. Other poets either followed his lead or consciously rebelled against it. Beginning to write at the tail-end of the modernist period, he at first brought poetry to new heights of verbal and intellectual complexity. Then breaking with the canons of modernism, he brought a new conversational style and innovative involvements with family and national life into his work. His mid- and late-career writing moved American poetry toward an aesthetics of postmodernism.
Lowell was born in Boston to a collateral branch of a family with a long history of artistic and …
Axelrod, Steven. "Robert Lowell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001
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