Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

December 17, 1919

John Livingston Lowes, Lowell lecturer at Harvard University, spoke on “‘The Fine Frenzy’ and ‘The Quiet Eye’: A Study in Poetic Inspiration.” In his book about Vassar, The Hickory Limb, President MacCracken recalled Lowes’s visit and his participation as judge in a campus competition: “The ‘doorblocks,’ pads suspended on bedroom doors to receive messages when the occupant was absent or oak-bound, invited scribbles in rhyme, and for a time doorblocks flourished as a type of occasional verse. Some of them were so witty that they were preserved in student albums and memory books. I once offered a prize for the best doorblock, and John Livingston Lowes of Harvard not only was good enough to act as judge, but came to college and delivered his famous essay ‘The Fine Frenzy and the Quiet Eye.’ Much of it later appeared in his great book The Road to Xanadu.”

Professor Lowes lectured at the college in March 1922 on “Convention and Revolt in Poetry” and again in 1932 at the commemoration of the centennial of the death of Goethe.

The Years