Amy Lowell (1874-1925) was an American poet and wealthy business woman. In addition to her own work, she often published the work of other writers. Though she sometimes wrote sonnets, Lowell was an early adherent to “free verse” and one of the major champions of this method. Her love poems in the volume, Two Speak Together, were said to have been inspired by actress Ada Dwyer Russell. Lowell posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926 for her collection, What’s O’Clock.
You glow in my heart
Like the flames of uncontrolled candles.
But when I go to warm my hands,
My clumsiness overturns the light,
and then I stumble
Against the tables and chairs.
When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.