Poetic evocations of bathrooms and especially of the act of shaving allowed Robert Lowell to explore certain manifestations of his manic-depressive illness in daily life. Particularly prominent in Life Studies but present throughout Lowell's work, references to shaving are linked to psychological turmoil, while bathrooms are explored as heterotopic spaces (Foucault). Confessional poetry finds a hitherto unexamined field in this poetic work.

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