A Fixed Idea

By Amy Lowell 1874–1925 Amy Lowell
What torture lurks within a single thought   
When grown too constant; and however kind,   
However welcome still, the weary mind
Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught   
Remembers on unceasingly; unsought   
The old delight is with us but to find   
That all recurring joy is pain refined,   
Become a habit, and we struggle, caught.   
You lie upon my heart as on a nest,   
Folded in peace, for you can never know   
How crushed I am with having you at rest   
Heavy upon my life. I love you so
You bind my freedom from its rightful quest.   
In mercy lift your drooping wings and go.


Amy Lowell, “A Fixed Idea” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts, and G. D'Andelot, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Selected Poems of Amy Lowell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002)

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Poet Amy Lowell 1874–1925

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist

Subjects Men & Women, Love, Relationships, Unrequited Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Heartache & Loss

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Amy  Lowell

Biography

An oft-quoted remark attributed to poet Amy Lowell applies to both her determined personality and her sense of humor: "God made me a business woman," Lowell is reported to have quipped, "and I made myself a poet." During a career that spanned just over a dozen years, she wrote and published over 650 poems, yet scholars cite Lowell's tireless efforts to awaken American readers to contemporary trends in poetry as her more . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Men & Women, Love, Relationships, Unrequited Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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