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The Sentence -- Robert Creeley

Guest poem sent in by Don José

  "We'll definitely be running more of Creeley's work in the
  future...."  --thomas, 20 Sep 2000

I figured, after three years, I'd step up!
(Poem #1400) The Sentence
 There is that in love
 which, by the syntax of,
 men find women and join
 their bodies to their minds

 --which wants so to acquire
 a continuity, a place,
 a demonstration that it must
 be one's own sentence.
-- Robert Creeley
Poem #552 needed some company.  I was introduced to Creeley this past summer
in a poetry workshop, my last undergraduate class at university.  Studying
him and his contemporaries (like Williams) definitely opened my eyes to
different styles, not the least of which was the attractiveness of sparse
rhyme; more accurately, perhaps, he uses rhyme where it is most effective.

And it's this that sets Creeley apart, I believe, his "efficiency of design"
as I explained in a critique.  Not a word is out of place; no line break is
unintentional; no punctuation left unconsidered.  He communicates multiple
thoughts with minimal words through his line break, thus the efficiency.
Also interesting, is how the form of his poems often "fit" the poem, if only
subtly ("Water" is a good example).  (His line break is quite deliberate --
to hear him read a selection will go a long way in elucidating this.  Some
performances are downloadable via
[broken link]

As was described of Creeley in the bio of "Morning" [Poem #552], his style
of poetry relied on conversational American English.  He writes, "I love it
that these words, 'made solely of air,' as Williams said, have no owner
finally to determine them....for these words which depend upon us for their
very existence fail as our usage derides or excludes them.  They are no more
right or wrong than we are, yet suffer our presumption forever" (in his
preface to _Selected Poems_, 1991).

There were many poems I could have easily chosen for this selection, but did
this one if for no other reason than it is definitely one of my favourite
Creeley pieces.  Not all of Creeley comes through in this, but one can see
how not only does language convey the poem, it is also a part of the poem,
as Creeley joins together love with a sentence.  Short, to the point,
creative -- Creeley.  I'll leave dissection to the reader.


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