The Noise of One’s Own Voice
This chapter looks at the ways in which being alienated from and encumbered with one's self, of inevitably being caught in a role, can be funny. It discusses how Robert Lowell wants to shed the way he sounds, the thoughts he gravitates toward, the reputation he has, and the physical brain he fears and depends on. It also mentions Lowell being at odds with his own style as he keeps changing style and undercuts the one he is working in. The chapter refers to Lord Weary's Castle and Day by Day, describing the act of writing about the self that is loaded with one's extreme instability, predictableness, and self-dramatization. It then talks about Lowell's frequent revolutions of form which question the tonalities of humor that change when poetry loses the guarantees and obligations of rhyme and meter.
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