Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"

"It is the future generation that presses into being by means of
these exuberant feelings and supersensible soap bubbles of ours."

—Schopenhauer

"The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms.  Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor's edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust. . .
It's the injustice . . . he is so unjust—
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
What makes him tick?  Each night now I tie
ten dollars and his car key to my thigh. . . .
Gored by the climacteric of his want,
he stalls above me like an elephant."

Credit


From Selected Poems by Robert Lowell, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1976, 1977 by Robert Lowell. Used by permission.

Author


Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell's poetry collection Life Studies is considered by many to have changed the landscape of modern poetry.

Date Published: 1976-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/speak-woe-marriage