As part of the traditional daylong May Day celebration, a poetry reading by the Lowell House Poemical Society took place May 1 at Lowell House, with festivities also featuring an early morning waltz on the Weeks Bridge, a bacchanal, and a recital with the historic Lowell House bells.
The Lowell House Poemical Society dates back to the 1950s, when Cecil Day-Lewis, former poet laureate of the U.K., stayed in the House. In the 1960s, when poet Marianne Moore was affiliated with the House, the society was revived. There are photographs of Moore on the House wall and an autographed poem she wrote, “Occasionem Cognosce” (recognize opportunity), which is the Lowell House motto.
The society meets each Tuesday evening during the academic calendar to read and discuss poetry. Many undergraduate members of the group have gone on to gain distinction in the world of American letters, often via fellowships at Oxford. Some publish, some teach, while others simply become enamored for life with the world of poetry.
The Lowell House Poemical Society is co-chaired by Lowell House tutor Ari Hoffman and Kevin McGrath.