Fall 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 4 Poetry |

The Scream (Derived from Elizabeth Bishop’s Story, “In the Village”)

(Derived from Elizabeth Bishop's story, "In the Village") A scream, the echo of a scream, now only a thinning echo . . . As a child in Nova Scotia, I used to watch the sky, Swiss sky, too blue, too dark. A cow drooled green grass strings. made cow flop, smack, smack, smack! and tried to brush off its flies on a lilac bush—all, forever, at one fell swoop! In the blacksmith's shop, the horseshoes sailed through the dark, like bloody little moons, red-hot, hissing, protesting, as they drowned in the pan. Back and away and back! Mother kept coming and going—with me, without me! Mother's dresses were black or white, or black-and-white. One day she changed to purple, and left her mourning. At the fitting, the dressmaker crawled on the floor, eating pins, like Nebuchadnezzar on his knees eating grass. Drummers sometimes came selling gilded red and green books, unlovely books! The people in the pictures wore clothes like the purple dress. Later, she gave the scream

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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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The Lesson

By Robert Lowell

(Derived from Elizabeth Bishop's story, "In the Village") A scream, the echo of a scream, now only a thinning echo . . . As a child in Nova Scotia, I […]

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