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Robert Lowell - Epilogue

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme--
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter's vision is not a lens,  it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write 
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All's misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun's illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

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Added: Oct 29 2004 | Viewed: 9089 times | Comments and analysis of Epilogue by Robert Lowell Comments (2)

Epilogue - Comments and Information

Poet: Robert Lowell
Poem: Epilogue
Volume: Day by Day
Year: Published/Written in 1975
Poem of the Day: Jan 28 2012

Comment 2 of 2, added on August 4th, 2014 at 5:02 PM.
BLZzVFZahrTIYueya

sQQxYM Very neat post. Will read on...

crorkz matz from France
Comment 1 of 2, added on September 24th, 2009 at 6:35 PM.

I have a recording of Robert Lowell reciting this poem. I have always seen the 9th line from that poem written as follows:
"with the threadbare art of my eye"
However, in the recitation of this poem by Robert Lowell, he rendners that line as follows:
"with dim eyes and threadbare art"
which, to my ears anyway, has a much better flow to it than what seems to be the official version.

Jim Rickman from United States

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