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AMY LOWELL
American poet, critic and lecturer
(1874 - 1925)

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
      - [Art]

For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.
      - [Books]

Youth condemns; maturity condones.
      - [Youth]

My words are little jars
  For you to take and put upon a shelf.
    Their shaped are quaint and beautiful,
      And they have many pleasant colours and lustres
        To recommend them.
          Also the scent from them fills the room
            With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
      - A Gift [Words]

You are beautiful and faded
  Like an old opera tune
    Played upon a harpsichord.
      - A Lady [Beauty]

Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,
  Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,
    The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry
      Wheels out into the sunlight.
      - A Tulip Garden [Tulips]

Happiness, to some elation;
  Is to others, mere stagnation.
      - Happiness [Happiness]

Heart-leaves of lilac all over New England,
  Roots of lilac under all the soil of New England,
    Lilac in me because I am New England.
      - Lilacs [Spring]

A wise man,
  Watching the stars pass across the sky,
    Remarked:
      In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.
      - Meditation [Stars]

I walk down the garden paths,
  And all the daffodils
    Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
      I walk down the patterned garden paths
        In my stiff, brocaded gown.
          I too am a rare
            Pattern. As I wander down
              The garden paths.
      - Patterns [Gardens]

All books are either dreams or swords,
  You can cut, or you can drug, with words.
    . . . .
      My swords are tempered for every speech,
        For fencing wit, or to carve a breach
          Through old abuses the world condones.
      - Sword Blades and Poppy Seed [Books]

Every castle of the air
  Sleeps in the fine black grains, and there
    Are seeds for every romance, or light
      Whiff of a dream for a summer night.
      - Sword Blades and Poppy Seed [Poppies]

Visions for those too tired to sleep,
  These seeds cast a film over eyes which weep.
      - Sword Blades and Poppy Seed [Poppies]

Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
  Shows sof'ness in the upper story!
      - The Biglow Papers (second series, no. 7)
        [Weakness]


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