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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Robert Creeley: Versions (after Hardy)


02147. this land: photo by Junk Male (borrowed_time), 24 March 2008

..............after Hardy

Why would she come to him,
come to him,
in such disguise

to look again at him—
look again—
with vacant eyes—

and why the pain still,
the pain—
still useless to them—

as if to begin again—
again begin—
what had never been?


Why be
no truth
to tell
or wish to?


The weather's still grey
and the clouds gather
where they once walked
out together,

watched the world with
a faint happiness,
watched it die
in the same place.

Robert Creeley (1926-2005): Versions (after Hardy), from Mirrors, 1981

02072. coast: photo by Junk Male (borrowed_time), 22 February 2008


Poet Red Shuttleworth said...

Creeley's poem carries suggestion... regards the reader as quite necessary... unpretentious and heartful.

Mose23 said...

This is such a fierce, unflinching interrogation; it hurts to look at Hardy with such sure eyes.

Why be
hurtful -
no truth
to tell
or wish to?

Creeley has somethign of trhe grain of Hardy's poetry here -

in such disguise

with vacant eyes

a faint happiness

One wonders if Creeley knows Hardy better than the old boy does himself.

TC said...

That in a period of intense self-scrutiny a poet of Creeley's intelligence would find in Hardy the formal example he needed -- someone who could speak with dignity and poise of the sort of subject matter, sadness, disappointment, passive suffering, that most poets (and almost all American poets, in particular) would avoid as a matter of policy -- seemed to me, back then, no surprise, as it seems equally now.

That these two poets also shared certain other qualities of mind and feeling would be made plain as the years ran on and the influence was completely assimilated into Creeley's own voice as a new thread in the weave, a subtle alteration of current that complicates the stream.

Clawson said...

Tom, at each year's Robert Creeley Award reading, I cite a passage or two from your Genius of the Common Place, a wonderful book for those of us living in West Acton. This years 14th Annual Robert Creeley Award goes to Mary Ruefle on April 16, 7:30PM, R.J.Grey Junior High School, Acton, MA.
Join us if you can!


Bob Clawson

TC said...

Thank you Bob, and congratulations to Mary.

I will be attending in spirit.