ABSTRACT While Lowell’s private life is put on the spotlight and the signification of his poetry is attached to the trauma and drama of his life, it remains pressing to ask what actually distinguishes Lowell’s poetry. Lowell serves as a touchstone case for criticism on confessional poetry, and poetry in general, because Lowell’s poems negate the definition of writing as literary representation and simple celebration of personal aura, which greatly differs from his real life or the biographical depiction of his life. The distinction between Lowell and the lyric I sometimes might appear blurred but is still existing. With the poems discussed here, there is a lack of self-indulgence and egocentrism that Lowell’s biography and his handling of Hardwick’s letters imply. This article will address this contradiction between Lowell and the lyric I (or Lowell as a poet), which is especially conspicuous when Lowell defies the possibility of literary representation.

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