Commander Lowell

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Commander Lowell is a poem by American poet Robert Lowell in his 1959 collection Life Studies.[1] It is a portrait of Lowell's father as a complex character. The poem mentions that the Commander gave away naval life to take up a better paid position with soap manufacturers Lever Brothers;.[2] He was inept in civilian life, a poor golf player[2] and a failure in business: "in three years he squandered sixty thousand dollars".[1] The last lines of the poem - And once/nineteen, the youngest ensign in his class,/he was "the old man" of a gunboat on the Yangtze - were described by Stephen Yenser as banishing "the humor of condescension that is accorded a Quixote." [2]


  1. ^ a b Adam Kirsch (June 18, 2008). "Reconsiderations: 'Life Studies' by Robert Lowell". The New York Sun. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Stephen Yenser (1975). "On "Commander Lowell"". Circle to Circle: The Poetry of Robert Lowell. University of California Press. Retrieved 20 January 2014.