Monday, March 16, 2009
Coming up on 4 years now--since Robert Creeley’s passing (March 30), which has me thinking again of what a vacuum exists in his absence. Many poets champion or cheerlead only the work of other poets most similar to their own, but Creeley had a reputation for being much more magnanimous. He would respond to an e-mail in a kindly and forthright way that not only answered the questions at hand but also provided new avenues of consideration -- this is something I had heard about him from other poets and then I also experienced it myself. Being one whose writing doesn’t resemble Creeley’s in its brevity, I marvel over what he accomplished (and in such few words). One gets the sense that each and every syllable in a Creeley poem is absolutely crucial to the poem’s construction. In the alchemical sense, all dross in his work was melted away and nothing but the gold remains -- wit and wisdom that doesn’t seem didactic. Creeley’s Wikipedia page is a useful start.