Dunbarton by Robert Lowell Essay example

Dunbarton by Robert Lowell Essay example

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"Dunbarton" by Robert Lowell is one of the poems from his "Life Studies" book. It's a short poem of only two pages but it has very deep meaning. The poem alludes to the poet's relationship with his grandfather. In this essay I will analyze this piece in detail and talk about the author's connection with his grandfather.

Robert Lowell prefers the use of free verse for his poems. He doesn't use a specific style for this piece; it is more free styled. He uses poetic language but there is no metered rhythm in the poem. Lowell even said once in an interview: "Prose is in many ways better off than poetry...I thought poetry was getting increasingly stifling. I couldn't get my experiences into tight metrical forms" (J. Myers and D. Wojahn, p. 154). He was also the first poet who wrote about his family to tell the truth about them, and "took the laundry out on the public." In "Life Studies", the author talks about his parents and the family members. Lowell writes about himself as well as his family members in a very critical way, which was unheard of at that time. Though some of the facts are not true and are exaggerated, his poems satirize the family. He does a lot of character description, and he performs it with a great irony. Many metaphors and details make his works very twisted. In a way, he confuses the reader but at the same time, he interchanges that with some sentences that are short, sharp, and very direct. Sometimes, they are even too straightforward: "He was my father. I was his son" (Line 10). He didn't seem to have much love for his father; however, he had a great connection with his grandfather.

The poem opens with the following:

"My Grandfather found

his grandchild's fogbound solitudes

sweeter than huma...


... middle of paper ...


...owell is a great poet and writer. Although I do not like reading books that have a depressing mood like Lowell's, I appreciate the work he has done. As I read in one book: "'Life Studies' broke new ground with its despairing yet elegant lucidity" (J. Myers and D. Wojahn, p. 194), I agree with the saying. His poems are very complex, profound, and are even unresolved. It can be discussed unlimited number of times and still have a charming mystery about it. In "Dunbarton", which is a very short piece, Robert Lowell was able to express the great love he had for his grandfather and I think that it takes a great amount of talent to do it with such ease and flow.

Works Cited

Lowell, Robert. "Life Studies". 1967. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Myers, J. and D. Wojahn. "A Profile of Twentieth Century American Poetry". 1991. Southern Illinois University Press.

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