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The Withdrawal Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Lowell Type: poem Views: 12

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Only today and just for this minute,

when the sunslant finds its true angle,

you can see yellow and pinkish leaves spangle

our gentle, fluffy tree—

suddenly the green summer is momentary...

Autumn is my favorite season—

why does it change clothes and withdraw?

This week the house went on the market—

suddenly I woke up among strangers;

when I go into a room, it moves

with embarrassment, and joins another room.

I don't need conversation, but you to laugh with—

you and a room and a fire,

cold starlight blowing through an open window—



After sunfall, heaven is melodramatic,

a temporary, puckering, burning green.

The patched-up oak

and blacker, indelible pines

have the indigestible meagerness of spines.

One wishes heaven had less solemnity:

a sensual table

with five half-filled bottles of red wine

set round the hectic carved roast—

Bohemia for ourselves

and the familiars of a lifetime

charmed to communion by resurrection—

running together in the rain to mail a single letter,

not the chafe and cling

of this despondent chaff.


Yet for a moment, the children

could play truant from their tuition.


When I look back, I see a collapsing

accordion of my receding houses,

and myself receding

to a boy of twenty-five or thirty,

too shopworn for less, too impressionable for more—

blackmaned, illmade

in a washed blue workshirt and coalblack trousers,

moving from house to house,

still seeking a boy's license

to see the countryside without arrival.



terror in happiness may not cure the hungry future,

the time when any illness is chronic,

and the years of discretion are spent on complaint—

until the wristwatch is taken from the wrist.

Anonymous submission.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Ok, well no one else does this, so what the heck...
Robert Lowell dealt with spells of maniac depression all throughout his life. This poem is simply describing how he feels during these spells and that nothing will get better until his life is over. This poem was most likely written as his response to leaving his first wife, Jean Stafford.

| Posted on 2010-05-16 | by a guest

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