Daily Archives for: June 21st, 2023

Amy Lowell on How a Poet Learns the Craft

The American poet Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925) was best known for a form of poetry called Imagism. She dedicated her career to perfecting her craft as a poet, and was practically an evangelist for the art of poetry writing. Lowell produced poetry prolifically and spoke widely about its art and craft.

Lowell defined Imagism as the “concentration is of the very essence of poetry,” and she aspired to “produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.”

The following is from the preface of her 1914 collection, Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, in which she argues that a poet is not born but made. The writer of poetry must learn what she called their “trade,” comparable to how a cabinet-maker or any other craftsperson first learns technique and then builds upon it. Read More→

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