Selected Poems: Expanded Edition Including selections from Day by Day

Robert Lowell

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

448 Pages



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Selected Poems includes over two hundred works culled from Robert Lowell's books of verse—Lord Weary's Castle, The Mills of the Kavanaughs, Life Studies, For the Union Dead, Near the Ocean, History, For Lizzie and Harriet, and The Dolphin. Edited and with a foreword by the poet Frank Bidart, who also edited Collected Poems of Robert Lowell, this revised and expanded edition is a chosen representation of "the greatest American poet of the mid-century" (Richard Poirier, Book Week).


Praise for Selected Poems: Expanded Edition

"The concise but passionate prose of Frank Bidart's brief introductory essay argues that Lowell is more than the upper-crust Yankee his cultural references can make him seem to be. Lowell's confessional frankness and personal subject matter don't merely make a self-serving self-portrait; as Bidart writes, 'Robert Lowell was a transgressive artist—his art again and again broke taboos, both thematic and formal. If what you're looking for from your poetry is redemption and honesty in a distinctively American key, you won't find it in denser form anywhere else, Lowell asks elemental questions about memory, family, America and art, and his intimacy distills a compassion for all."—Katie Peterson, Chicago Tribune

"Selected Poems [has] resuscitated conversation about one of the most stylish and ambitious poets of the 20th century. The features that make Lowell exciting to read—technical brilliance, as well as the instinct to deviate from it; a persuasive, public, rhetorical voice; dark interiority—are all on display in Selected Poems. What is also here, which Lowell excluded from the earlier Selected, is '91 Revere Street,' a remarkable prose memoir that demonstrates just how clear he was capable of being about his life."—Los Angeles Times

"Selected Poems demonstrates with unequivocal clarity that Robert Lowell's poems, not the least bit dated, remain as stunning and impressive now as they seemed back then, when they took American poetry by storm six decades ago."—Steve Kowit, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"This selection—a much-expanded version by Bidart of Lowell's own late-life culling—brings the Herculean effort of restoring Lowell's oeuvre to print and prominence near completion. Next to the colossal Collected Poems, this is a formidable book in its own right, offering a distilled view of the arc of Lowell's whole career and of each of his individual books. From the early formal triumphs of Lord Weary's Castle and The Mills of the Kavanaughs to the seminal Life Studies (which is presented here in its entirety and includes what may be Lowell's most overarching characterization of his work: 'I myself am hell'); from the tense and arguably unscrupulous sonnets of History and For Lizzie and Harriet to the dark resolve of The Dolphin and Day by Day: all of Lowell's varied modes are generously represented, along with Bidart's notes from Collected Poems. This book finally makes the breadth of Lowell's great achievement accessible in a single, portable volume."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Robert Lowell

  • Robert Lowell (1917–77) was the renowned and controversial author of many books of poetry, including For the Union Dead (1964) and Life Studies (1959), both published by FSG, which also published his Collected Poems in 2003.

  • Robert Lowell Copyright Phil MacMullan