Thursday, February 25, 2010
Robert Lowell was an influential confessional poet. Both Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath credited his class with their development as writers. I like how he uses history in “For the Union Dead” and also comments on modern day problems. He spends a significant portion of the poem with past references (i.e. the old aquarium and the display for Shaw and his men). And, he also notes “Space is nearer. When I crouch to my television set, the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.” These references to desegregation, the moon landing, and other significant events of the time work well with the historical facts he puts in the poem too. I enjoyed reading Lowell.