American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Confessional · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Robert Lowell

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill’s skull;
I watched for love-cars . Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind’s not right.

A car radio bleats,
“Love, O careless Love. . . .” I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat. . . .
I myself am hell;
nobody’s here—

— Robert Lowell, from “Skunk Hour,” Life Studies. (Faber & Faber; Revised edition, January 1969)

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