Example 1. Robert Lowell, “In Genesis” from History (1973) in Collected Poems / Robert Lowell, ed. Frank Bidart & David Gewanter (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2003), 423


Blank. A camel blotting up the water.

A2 God with whom nothing is design or intention.
In the beginning the Sabbath could last a week,
God grumbling secrecies behind Blue Hill . . .
B1 The serpent walked on foot like us in Eden;
glorified by the perfect Northern exposure,
Eve and Adam knew their nakedness,
a discovery to be repeated many times . . .
B2 in joyless stupor?. . . Orpheus in Genesis
hacked words from brute sound, and taught men English,
plucked all the flowers, deflowered all the girls
with the overemphasis of a father. 
C He used too many words, his sons killed him,
dancing with grateful gaiety round the cookout.

“In Genesis” from COLLECTED POEMS by Robert Lowell.
Copyright © 2003 by Harriet and Sheridan Lowell.
Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.