The poet offers an account of his personal history as it has painstakingly ordered itself in images. It is the response of a racked but magnanimous mind, the response of a poet. . . . Many of the events [in Notebook
] are drawn from our common history, our wars and demonstrations, our assassinations and riots. Throughout burns a passionate intelligence, a conscience, which the reader feels is trustworthy. (William Meredith, The New York Times Book Review
What Lowell has done is to make poetry difficult again. This has nothing to do with intellectual puzzles: instead, it is the more strenuous creative difficulty of a poetry molded precisely to a powerful and mature talent. [Lowell] appears in Notebook
as a very subtle man, unashamedly intelligent, well read and alert, whose poems are at once delicate and piercing. (A. Alvarez, The Observer (London)
About the Author
Robert Lowell (1917-77) was the renowned and controversial author of many books of poetry, including Day by Day, The Dolphin, and History. FSG also published his Collected Prose in 1987.