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Analysis and comments on Skunk Hour by Robert Lowell

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Comment 5 of 13, added on August 12th, 2010 at 2:07 AM.
Skunk Hour

"the season's ill", although refers to the seasonal change but it
implicates a diseased civilization. with expression "my mind's not right",
the poet seems to loose insanity at the depressive prospect that greets him
in his search of love. the love song that blares from the radio seems to be
bleating meaninglessly in the atmosphere of general sterility. the
appearence to skunks, looking for something to eat at a deadly hour, is the
only sign of life and therefore survival.

Sarab Singh from India
Comment 4 of 13, added on December 3rd, 2008 at 2:09 PM.

That phrase 'I myself am hell' has always stuck in my mind when thinking
about Lowell's confessionalism, and about confessional poetry in general.
Its most wellknown practitioners have often been writers who have suffered
from psychiatric illness and hospitalisation, and have sort to express this
personal experience of inner turmoil in hard-hitting verse. The excerpt
describing the car radio 'bleating' and the poet hearing in its song his
own 'ill-spirit sob in each blood cell / as if my hand were at its throat'
is a chillingly suicidal and audio-hallucinogenic metaphor for
self-abjection, as is 'I myself am hell./ Nobody's here'...which reminds
one of Arthur Rimbaud's desperate statement 'I is another'. One can see the
beginnings of the line of self-expression which Anne Sexton and Sylvia
Plath also experimented with after attended Lowell's workshops.

Dave Younger from United Kingdom

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Information about Skunk Hour

Poet: Robert Lowell
Poem: Skunk Hour
Volume: Selected Poems
Year: 1976
Added: Oct 29 2004
Viewed: 136 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 10 2009

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