GENERATIONS "I": The Future of Autobiographical Foetry/David Wojahn "When I speak of keeping the human image, I am speaking of keeping, not selves, but the value of selves." --AUen Grossman from The Sighted Singer ROBERT LOWELL, CIRCA 1962 or '63, is looking at the camera with the sort of fixed intensity that's displayed in so many of his photos. He's wearing the black owlish hornrims which were the uniform of the myopic early sixties, a time when the rose-colored granny glasses of the Byrds' Roger McGuinn and John Lennon's oval wirerims, shading acid-dUated pupils, were still unknown. In this particular photo Lowell looks uncharacteristically calm, his hair neatly brushed; there's none of the eerUy dishevelled gawkiness of his more famous photos, no Einstein-wild hair, no sense that he possesses a body always shambling and awkward, too large to fit the rooms that contain it. When the photo was taken he had recently released Life Studies, possibly the most influential book of American poetry published Ui the last half-century. I don't know the name of the photographer, for the photo was rescued by a friend of mine one day whUe she worked as a secretary at Harvard, and was
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1996
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