Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV was an American poet, considered the founder of the confessional poetry movement. He was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress where he served from 1947 until 1948. He won the Pulitzer Prize in both 1947 and 1974 and the National Book Award in 1960.. American poet confessional poetry movement; 1947 & 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; 1947 US Poet Laureate
Man and Wife
Tamed by Miltown, we lie on Mother's bed;
the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;
in broad daylight her gilded bed-posts shine,
abandoned, almost Dionysian.
At last the trees are green on Marlborough Street,
blossoms on our magnolia ignite
the morning with their murderous five days' white.
All night I've held your hand,
as if you had
a fourth time faced the kingdom of the mad--
its hackneyed speech, its homicidal eye--
and dragged me home alive. . . .Oh my Petite,
clearest of all God's creatures, still all air and nerve:
you were in our twenties, and I,
once hand on glass
and heart in mouth,
outdrank the Rahvs in the heat
of Greenwich Village, fainting at your feet--
too boiled and shy
and poker-faced to make a pass,
while the shrill verve
of your invective scorched the traditional South.
Now twelve years later, you turn your back.
Sleepless, you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child;
your old-fashioned tirade--
loving, rapid, merciless--
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head.