BI. Amy Lowell

20. Letters. Quoted in Kodama (A59), 1984.


a. To Ficke, 20 April 1916 (p. 47). Lowell thanks Ficke for his gift of Chats on Japanese Prints (BG5), and adds that it has ‘inspired’ her to write a number of little “hokku” poems—for no reason whatever except that you put me so in the mood’. These presumably would be the ‘hokku’ that appeared in Lacquer Prints (4). See 7 for evidence that Lowell borrowed from other of Ficke’s writing about Japan.

b. To Miyaoka Tsunejirô, 13 January 1921 (pp. 39-40). Miyaoka was Percival Lowell’s secretary in Japan, and visited Sevenels with him during a trip to the United States in 1883, when Miyaoka was seventeen and Amy Lowell nine. Thirty-eight years later she recalls the visit here in a letter of thanks for Miyaoka’s recent gift of a ‘picture book’ from Japan. In reciprocation she sends a copy of Can Grande’s Castle (see 7), which she notes makes ‘some reference’ to Japan, and was written ‘out of a sort of atavism and after much reading of Japanese literature’, which she ‘ardent[ly]’ admires. Her recollection of the importance of Japan to her early imagination recalls language she had used in a letter of three and a half years earlier to another Japanese correspondent (compare 15a): ‘The prints and picture books like the little one which you have just given me, and which my brother Percival used to send across the Atlantic all through my childhood, made Japan so vivid to my imagination that I cannot imagine that I have never been there’. These ‘imbued’ Lowell with a ‘love’ for Japan that Miyaoka’s visit ‘strengthened’, and she is sure that she will ‘always feel a bond drawing’ her to the country. Includes reference to William Sturgis Bigelow (Ap).





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