22 ene. 2003

I'll begin with the C section of my library. I always liked Creeley's early work, collected in "For Love." I had a rather conflicted approach to the middle Creeley, of "Words" and "Pieces," the technical obsessiveness that anticipates Grenier. The later Creeley moves back toward the sentimental mode, with sometimes uneven results. I once wrote a series of variations on "I know a Man," written in the styles of other poets. This remains my favorite Creeley poem, along with "Self-Portrait." I'm not so keen on the poems that go "One, and one, two, three..." The range seems limited, although this is a hugely influential and important side of his work. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the poetic techniques he developed, but the poems about HOW he's breaking his lines risk dullness.

I like the fact the Creeley doesn't make you buy into a whole mythopoetic bag before reading his poetry. (He is the anti-Duncan in this respect.) I like his sentimentality and his sense of humor, his sense of himself as inarticulate. I also feel inarticulate much of the time. I'd like to see him let loose more, be sentimental in the FO'H mode. It's interesting that he sees himself more as a technician, when a good part of his strength derives from this vein of sentiment.

It would be quite dull to feel no ambivalence toward one's favorite poets.

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