Meant to act as a single poem, Robert Lowell's Notebook is a series of blank verse sonnets that are by turns humorous, intellectual, lyric and clever. Sometimes all at the same time.
I was less fond of his poems addressing named individuals and found myself particularly drawn to his more lyric poems, where I thought the imagery was much stronger and the voice less pedantic.
In this ever more enlightened room,
I wake beside the early rising sun,
sex indelible on the flowering air--
shouldn't I pray for us to hold forever,
body of dolphin, breast of cloud?
You rival the renewal of all seasons,
clearing the puddles with your last-year books.
Lowell, Robert, Notebook: Revised and Expanded Edition. Farrar Strauss & Giroux, 1995 printing. 265 pp.