HELLO: A Journal, February 29--May 3, 1976 by Robert Creeley

HELLO: A Journal, February 29--May 3, 1976

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Trim to start with, Creeley's poetry since 1969 has become progressively more reductionist, more perilously balanced, more delicately structured, all on the lines of the masterful work of Louis Zukofsky. ""Trees want/ to be still?/ Winds won't let them?"" That's a whole poem, and unless you can accept that, Creeley's late work seems a joke. We happen to think it isn't a joke, but with work like Hello it appears highly likely that Creeley has worked himself into a stylistic corner he can't elbow out of. ""Funny how/ people pick/ their noses."" Lots of hipster Idig-its. And an unbuttoned and mostly banal subject matter--Creeley's Government-sponsored reading junket to the Far East--that lacks the anguished tension that made Creeley's poetry so remarkable (only one poem here, ""Later,"" seems the exception). Loosey-goosey, Creeley will never be; but until he regains some of the uprightness he's shedding, his poetry will continue to slog, providing little opposition to those who see in it only stenography.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1978
Publisher: New Directions