Winter 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 Five Poems for John Crowe Ransom |

Night Sweat

Work-table, litter, books and standing lamp, plain things, my stalled equipment, the old broom— but I am lying in a tidied room, for ten nights now I've felt the creeping damp float over my pajamas wilted white … Sweet salt embalms me and my head is wet, everything streams and tells me this is right; life's fever is soaking in night sweat— one life, one writing! But the downward glide and bias of existing wrings us dry— always inside me is the child who died, always inside me is his wish to die— one universe, one body … in this urn the animal night sweats of the spirit burn. Behind me! You! Again I feel the light lighten my leaded eyelids, while the gray skulled horses whinny for the soot of night. I dabble in the dapple of the day. A heap of wet clothes, seamy, shivering, I see my flesh and bedding washed with light, my child exploding into dynamite, my wife … your lightness alters everything, and tears the black web from the spider's sack, as your

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Considered by many to be the most important poet in English of the second half of the twentieth century, Robert Lowell studied at Kenyon College under John Crowe Ransom and received an undergraduate degree in 1940. He published over fifteen books of poetry in his lifetime and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 at the age of thirty.

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Work-table, litter, books and standing lamp, plain things, my stalled equipment, the old broom— but I am lying in a tidied room, for ten nights now I've felt the creeping […]

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Work-table, litter, books and standing lamp, plain things, my stalled equipment, the old broom— but I am lying in a tidied room, for ten nights now I've felt the creeping […]

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