SELECTED POEMS by Robert Creeley


Email this review


This is a selection of the poems--mostly from previously published collections--that, if you admire the small range and intensity of Creeley's work, have probably prompted your admiration. There are poems of mild wit, simple pleasure and even gaiety (""Ballad of the Despairing Husband"") here; but the dark, laconic poem of no particular event (""The Innocence,"" ""The Immoral Proposition"") prevails. More: these last are poems of half-specified instinct, and while Creeley's speech is common and colloquial, the special quality of his line has nothing to do with common diction. He often confounds the passing of time with confused subjects and compound tenses: ""What/ has happened/ makes/ the world./ Live/ on the edge,/ looking."" Poems such as this (""Here"" in its entirety) have made Creeley known as the most skillful practitioner of what Charles Olson called ""projective verse""--that poetry which yields to the reader a carefully restructured account of whatever he can lend it. Nevertheless, these poems are various, and remarkably spare and affective; they provide a comprehensive introduction to Creeley's poetry for those who don't know it, and a fine review for those who do.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1976
ISBN: 0520069366
Publisher: Scribners