Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Our Mid-Month’s Poet: Robert Lowell

Children of the Light by Robert Lowell
Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and stones
And fenced their gardens with the Redmen’s bones;
Embarking from the Nether Land of Holland,
Pilgrims unhouseled by Geneva’s night,
They planted here the Serpent’s seeds of light;
And here the pivoting searchlights probe to shock
The riotous glass houses built on rock,
And candles gutter by an empty altar,
And light is where the landless blood of Cain
Is burning, burning the unburied grain.

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2 thoughts on “Our Mid-Month’s Poet: Robert Lowell

  1. Although I’d heard the name, I have to admit being unfamiliar with Lowell. However, I had fun teasing out what information I could about the poet from the work itself (I’ve subsequently looked him up online).

    Just based on his name, I started with the assumption that he was British and lived in the 19th Century, and the first line of the poem does nothing to disabuse me of this. However, the second line firmly establishes the writer as American (or possibly Canadian, but fortunately that possibility escaped me at the time). The seventh line (“glass houses”) would indicate a 20th Century poet. So I guess that’s not much info after all, but I felt like a master sleuth.


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