Robert Lowell

1917 (Boston, Mass.) – 1977 (New York)

Lowell was one of the most influential English-language poets of the 20th century. He had a lifelong friendship with Pound, and another with his erstwhile mentor Frost, had Eliot as supportive critic and editor, Plath and Sexton among his students, and treated Santayana like his priest. Bishop (for 30 years) and Nolan were among his closest friends. He met Arendt (an oasis in New York’s dry dust) at McCarthy’s. Ginsberg reinvigorated his poetry, Walcott adjusted his tie, while Evans had a thing for his wife. Mailer and he — unlikely comrades — marched arm-in-arm together on the Pentagon. Larkin thought him barking mad.

Robert Lowell knew…