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Pete Atkin >> Words >> Robert Lowell v Clive
(Message started by: Tiny_Montgomery on Today at 21:36)

Title: Robert Lowell v Clive
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on Today at 21:36
The late, great American poet Robert Lowell takes Clive James to task from beyond the grave in his recently published Selected Letters (Faber, 2005). The poet objected to comments by James regarding a typically melodramatic unrhymed sonnet by Lowell mentioning Sylvia Plath and Auschwitz in the same breath. If I remember rightly, James had been responding to a John Bayley piece. Lowell took great exception to both critics, penning a letter of complaint to Ian Hamilton, then editor of The New Review. But being slagged off by Robert Lowell in print would be considered a great honour in some circles and the late poet's diatribe is now preserved in his posthumous letters.

Clive adopts his creaky old man persona for a very fine new poem called 'Portrait of Man Writing' in a recent issue of the New Yorker. The poem's well worth seeking out. Retirement from the box has worked wonders for Clive's poetic muse.

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