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Identification In Belfast

Robert Lowell 1917 (Boston) – 1977 (New York City)

(I.R.A. Bombing)
 
The British Army now carries two rifles,
one with rubber rabbit-pellets for children,
the other's of course for the Provisionals....
'When they first showed me the boy, I thought oh good,
it's not him because he's blonde
I imagine his hair was singed dark by the bomb.
He had nothing on him to identify him,
except this box of joke trick matches;
he liked to have them on him, even at mass.
The police were unhurried and wonderful,
they let me go on trying to strike a match...
I just wouldn't stop you cling to anything
I couldn't believe I couldn't light one match
only joke matches... Then I knew he was Richard.'
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Robert Lowell

Robert Traill Spence "Cal" Lowell IV was an American poet. He was born into a Boston Brahmin family that could trace its origins back to the Mayflower. His family, past and present, were important subjects in his poetry. Growing up in Boston also informed his poems, which were frequently set in Boston and the New England region. Lowell stated, "The poets who most directly influenced me ... were Allen Tate, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Carlos Williams. An unlikely combination!..... but you can see that Bishop is a sort of bridge between Tate's formalism and Williams's informal art." Lowell was capable of writing both formal, metered verse as well as free verse; some of his verse, in some poems from Life Studies and Notebook, fell somewhere in between metered and free verse. After the publication of his 1959 book Life Studies, which won the 1960 National Book Award and "featured a new emphasis on intense, uninhibited discussion of personal, family, and psychological struggles," he was considered an important part of the confessional poetry movement. more…

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    "Identification In Belfast" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 2 Mar. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56521/identification-in-belfast>.

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