The best short poems by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell (1874-1925) is perhaps best-known for being the figurehead and ringleader for Imagism after Ezra Pound, who had founded that movement, grew jaded with it and moved on to Vorticism. Although her poems were less ‘classical’ and restrained than those by Pound, Lowell’s poetry is often true to Imagist ideals of brevity and vividness, and the ten poems included in this blog post bear this out. There are ten of the finest short Amy Lowell poems – we hope you enjoy them.
Like black ice
Scrolled over with unintelligible patterns
by an ignorant skater
Is the dulled surface of my heart.
Wind and Silver
The Autumn moon floats in the thin sky;
And the fish-ponds shake their backs and
flash their dragon scales
As she passes over them.
The Fisherman’s Wife
When I am alone,
The wind in the pine-trees
Is like the shuffling of waves
Upon the wooden sides of a boat.
If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly
I could see to write you a letter.
Beyond the porcelain fence of the pleasure garden,
I hear the frogs in the blue-green rice-fields;
But the sword-shaped moon
Has cut my heart in two.
Is it a dragon fly or maple leaf
That settles softly down upon the water?
The chirping of crickets in the night
Like the twinkling of stars.
All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.
As I crossed over the bridge of Ariwarano Narikira,
I saw that the waters were purple
With the floating leaves of maple.
Upon the maple leaves
The dew shines red,
But on the lotus blossom
It has the pale transparence of tears.
If you enjoyed this pick of the best short Amy Lowell poems, you might also like our selection of miniature poems by T. E. Hulme.
Image: Amy Lowell photographed by Bachrach, c. 1916; via Wikimedia Commons.