In the final episode of their first series of Modern-ish Poets, Mark and Seamus confront Robert Lowell: the Boston Brahmin for whom poetry trumped every other consideration, and whose Cold War ‘confessionalism’ came to exemplify a generation of Americans’ collective trauma; the poet who changed everything, but whose star has somehow fallen in recent years.
This is an extract from the episode. To listen in full, and to all our other Close Readings series, sign up here: lrb.me/closereadings
This episode was first published on the LRB Podcast in August 2019, and is now available in full exclusively for Close Readings subscribers.
(Image: Creative Commons, Lowell at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Harvard Square, 1965)