Who wrote "Land of Unlikeness"?
Land of Unlikeness, Robert Lowell's first book of poetry, was published in 1944 in a limited edition of two hundred and fifty copies by Harry Duncan at the Cummington Press. The poems were all metered, often rhymed, and very much informed by Lowell's recent conversion to Catholicism. The book contains an insightful introduction by Lowell's one-time teacher and mentor Allen Tate who labels the young Lowell "a Catholic poet." In describing the prevailing style of the book, Tate writes,"[it] is bold and powerful, and the symbolic language often has the effect of being willed; for it is an intellectual style compounded of brilliant puns and shifts of tone; and the willed effect is strengthened by the formal stanzas, to which the language is forced to conform." While not a glowing assessment of Lowell's early work, Tate does conclude that Lowell is an important young poet who "will have to be reckoned with." Tate also states that he prefers the poems in Land of Unlikeness which are less "explicitly religious," citing the poems "A Suicidal Nightmare" and "Death from Cancer."