Tuesday, November 02, 2004
having given short shrift to Creeley's For Love, I thought I would go back to it and refresh my jaundiced eye. and I'm afraid I found myself liking it much more than I expected. I think I've been suffering resistance flashback. honest to god I try to be open-minded but I know that I'm not. When I 1st read Creeley, I had the divvel of the time 'getting it'. his work (and that of Olson, Pound, Stein, Ashbery, even Dickinson) was stuck in my face, a different thing than what I imagined poetry to be. I was at that time, late teens, writing what was available to me, as one inspired to write poetry while not actually liking it. that is to say, I liked Marianne Moore for speaking up for the likes of me. somehow, I came to respect Creeley, and I can say I hear Creeley when I write in lines, that my sense of lines derives from his. his sense of relationship and other is tortured, and his expression thereof tortuous. you have to parse his thought the way you do Donne, or Dickinson. his is not an easy poetic syntax. Creeley is willing to go to utmost simplicty to confuse us, or me at least. I think of Zukofsky boiling down to syllable. Creeley boils down to word. that he means those words mightily, even when confused, angry, frightened. it leaves a lot on the reader. I think his music went more syllabic than metric in Pieces which statement no doubt needs to be explained. instead of wrestling his way out of received form, as seems often the case in the earlier work (and with Dickinson), he sticks with counting the beat of syllables. I don't mind trying to slough off influences, but I gotta keep my head straight.