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His Own Prophet

Michael Hofmann: Read Robert Lowell!, 11 September 2003

Collected Poems 
by Robert Lowell, edited by Frank Bidart and David Gewanter.
Faber, 1186 pp., £40, July 2003, 0 571 16340 8
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... as a separate poem called ‘Ovid and Caesar’s Daughter’ in History (1973); and now Bidart and Gewanter have unearthed a seven-stanza monster that was printed in the Kenyon Review in 1953. Valéry says a poem isn’t finished but abandoned: many of Lowell’s were never even abandoned. The resulting jostle of competing versions marks him more than any ...

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