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Lowell . . . becomes interesting in our conflicted and tense cultural moment because she was not in any sense "free" either to express her sexuality or to police it. She could not have the confidence—or perhaps bravado—of overseas 1920s lesbian communities, or even of the more modest bohemianism of the Village. On the contrary, at the center of many of her most interesting poems, like "Venus Transiens," are painfully contradictory impulses toward revelation, display, or even a certain form of "flaunting," and hiding, a poetics of the closet.