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Robert Lowell - History

History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had--
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter's moon ascends--
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull's no-nose--
O there's a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver salvage of the mornfrost.

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Added: Oct 29 2004 | Viewed: 498 times | Comments and analysis of History by Robert Lowell Comments (3)

History - Comments and Information

Poet: Robert Lowell
Poem: History
Volume: Selected Poems
Year: Published/Written in 1976
Poem of the Day: Apr 22 2006

Comment 3 of 3, added on April 1st, 2009 at 12:22 PM.

I thought the symbolism was inticing and the imagery painted a beautiful scene in my head. I think what draws me most to my love of this poem would be its use of analogies of history. It's alagorical nature has many deep meanings and I find out more evry time I read this poem. You can clearly see his political as well as religious views and the theme of confessionalism is very prominent. Stanza 2 is a good example of that. I'm just kidding. I have no clue what the hell I'm talking about.

Zach Hart
Comment 2 of 3, added on March 18th, 2008 at 10:25 AM.

it was an aight poem. it could have been better but ii still liked it.

Brad Abrahamson from United States
Comment 1 of 3, added on May 24th, 2005 at 9:23 AM.

I liked it it was just alittle short I think you could of put more into it.

kimberly from United States

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