BI. Amy Lowell: Primary Materials


1. A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1912. Reprint, New York: AMS, 1981.

Harmer (A51) is probably right in suggesting that at the date of publication of this work Lowell ‘knew virtually nothing about Japanese literature’; Miner (A25) notes that the poems contain a ‘mingling’ of a ‘Keatsian afterglow’ and ‘the bright colors of Impressionism and [ukiyoe]’. Only the poems noted make specific use of Japanese materials.


a. A Japanese Wood-Carving. Description of the carving of the title, a seascape hanging above a doorway. The carving is mentioned in several accounts of Lowell’s house at Sevenels, including that in Ayscough (27), and Damon (29) notes the several Japanese carvings hanging above the bookshelves in the library. Presumably these would have been among the artefacts Percival Lowell sent to Boston from Japan (see D6). Appeared first in the February 1911 Atlantic Monthly. See also 33 and 39.

b. A Coloured Print by Shokei. The speaker describes the scene in the print, a path by a waterfall that she ‘[longs] to explore’, for it ‘must lead to a happy land’. Four artists in Japanese tradition are remembered by the name Shôkei, though none were printmakers. Paintings by Kenkô Shôkei (fl. ca. 1478-1506) and Katayama Chikanobu, also known as Shôkei (1628-1717), are among the works held in the Fenollosa-Ward Collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which Lowell knew well. From internal evidence either might have provided her source.





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