Summary The poets T.S. Eliot and Amy Lowell share many biographical similarities, despite their very different literary pedigrees. Both had ties to Boston and to Harvard; both were highly influenced by the Imagist poet Ezra Pound. Pound was an editor of Eliot's "Waste Land" and Eliot dedicated his seminal modernist poem to Pound. However, in contrast to the amicable relationship of Eliot and Pound, Lowell was Pound's literary adversary. Pound accused her of diluting the term 'Imagist' which caused Lowell to avoid associating with the modernists Pound supported such as James Joyce and Eliot (Beach 77).
Despite the fact they were not friends in life, in their poetry the modernists Lowell and Eliot often expressed a similar view of human and divine love. Although Pound considered Lowell conservative and of an earlier generation, Lowell used vers libre, or unrhymed poetry with varying line lengths in a radical fashion to great effect in many of her works. Her 1919 poem "Madonna of the Evening Flowers fuses religious and natural symbolism, suggesting a communion of sentiment between the feelings the speaker has for the divine and the human. The poem ends with an image of praying and suggests the speaker's love has a holy quality. Lowell's poetry has a sincerity that contrasts with the tone of Eliot's more satirical "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." "Prufrock" is an intentionally ironic poem, contrasting the high romantic aspirations of the speaker with his humble, real