|Robert Lowell is buried in the private
Stark Cemetery, Dunbarton, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA.
Robert Lowell's Grave, Stark Cemetery
Lowell was educated at Kenyon College where he met
Randall Jarrell, John Crowe Ransom and
Initially he was an exponent of traditional verse forms but with the
publication of his ground breaking collection Life Studies in 1959
he embraced free verse. He also embraced a confessional style of writing
which would prove highly influential for younger poets.
He married for the first time in 1940 and also became a fanatical
convert to Catholicism. His first collection Land of Unlikeness
appeared in 1944 and highlighted the conflict between his new-found faith
and his Boston ancestry.
During World War II Lowell was jailed for six months for being a
conscientious objector - experiences which he later recorded in his poem Memories
of West Street and Lepke.
The Lowell family - one of the oldest and most prominent of
Boston families - had already produced two previous poets: James Russell Lowell
(1819-91) and the experimental poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925).
Lowell was bi-polar and was hospitalised on a number of occasions.
Later in life he started taking lithium which helped relieve some of the
symptoms - but he was still anxious about his condition.
He spent many of his final years in England following his third
marriage to the novelist Caroline Blackwood in 1973. Lowell's final collection of verse Day by Day was
published in the year of his death.
He died suddenly of a heart attack on 12 September 1977 whilst
on his way to New York.