Amy Lowell and D. H. Lawrence were unlikely yet dedicated pen pals for about ten years, the last letter from Lawrence to Lowell written just five weeks before her death. What exactly did Lowell, the seemingly staid imagist poet, born and bred in Boston high society, and the unabashedly frank Lawrence, of working-class stock and author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, have to write to each other about? For his part, Lawrence said there existed a “congenital understanding” between them, and Lowell, who had met Lawrence only once, in London, was captivated with Lawrence’s evocative descriptions of landscapes. Lawrence’s biographer Jeffrey Meyers, however, sees their relationship as mutually exploitative: Lowell had the financial wherewithal to assist the struggling author, and Lawrence consented to contribute poems to Lowell’s imagist anthologies, thereby lending his name and greater literary cachet to the fledgling movement.
"Congenital understanding" existed between D. H. Lawrence, Amy Lowell
HUMANITIES, January/February 2013, Volume 34, Number 1