Is Helen Vendler's characterization of your work, that "things are wasted, faded, faint, trembling, wavering, blurred, darkening" and that yours is a "way of avoiding bathos" consistent with how you see your writing? I take objection to her statement that your writing style is "fatally pinched." Thank you kindly for your reply.
Bev -- NJ
I sure know what Helen Vendler is referring to. We both come from the Boston area, like they say, and "fatally pinched" is all too insistent a prospect if you have what my mother called a "lower middle class" status and all. I think it's taken real time to manage a passage through the early years of my life, coming of age in WWII, feeling very inadequate to the world as I found it, growing up fatherless, one eyed, and so on. Yet I was lucky in that solutions, if that's the word, seemed to keep coming at very unexpected moments—like just now being hired at Brown at age 77. That's happy! Or getting an unexpected scholarship to Holderness School at 14 because my sister Helen had persuaded my mother, the Acton, Mass town nurse, to apply for me. Anyhow Helen Vendler is not out to get me—she has other work to do—and my writing is not her interest. I don't not read her critical work therefore—I just haven't, but I know from her students, those I've met, she's a classically inspiring teacher with, expectably, very strong opinions. I liked her very much when we met and had a necessary time together a year ago—it was a pleasure just that I felt so simply at home with her.
I wish I could be so magnanimous about people who criticize Creeley.