I went to the noon Courtroom Concerts that the Schubert Club puts on at the Landmark Center to hear my dear friend KrisAnne Weiss sing. (And oh! She was magnificent! And Oh! That voice!) Among other things, she performed a cycle of songs by a local composer that used the poetry of Amy Lowell as their foundation.
And I realized that I have never, ever read the poetry of Amy Lowell. Indeed, I knew nothing about her. And those poems blew me the frick away.
Amy Lowell was one of those women – born in privilege, yet bound by constraints of narrow-minded American Aristocracy – who baffled the people around her. Denied education, so she vigorously pursued self-education. Bound by the conscriptions of femininity, and threw them off. Spoke in public when it was shocking to do so. She was short, brusque and loud – a wide woman. She was smart-mouthed, quick-tongued and abrasive. She pissed people off. She smoked cigars in public and spoke in public and embraced her off-kilter public persona, when it was taboo for a woman to do so.
And I’m kinda in love with her.
Here are the poems that did it for me. I hope they do it for you as well.
Our meeting was like the upward swish of a rocket
In the blue night.
I do not know when it burst;
But now I stand gaping,
In a glory of falling stars.
Hold your apron wide
That I may pour my gifts onto it,
So that scarcely shall your two arms
From falling to the ground.
I would pour them upon you
And cover you,
For greatly do I feel this need
Of giving you something,
Even these poor things.
Dearest of my heart