Pub. Date:
University of California Press
The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 / Edition 1

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 / Edition 1

by Robert Creeley, Penelope Creeley
Current price is , Original price is $34.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


This definitive collection showcases thirty years of work by one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, bringing together verse that originally appeared in eight acclaimed books of poetry ranging from Hello: A Journal (1978) to Life & Death (1998) and If I were writing this (2003). Robert Creeley, who was involved with the publication of this volume before his death in 2005, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment—the new postwar poetry originating with Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, and others. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975–2005 will stand together with The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975–2000 as essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520256200
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 757,271
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Robert Creeley (1926—2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University.

Read an Excerpt

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley 1975â?"2005

By Robert Creeley


Copyright © 2006 the Estate of Robert Creeley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-520-94167-0


    Wellington, New Zealand

    "That's the way
    (that's the way

    I like it
    (I like it"

    * * *

    Clouds coming close.

    * * *

    Never forget
    clouds dawn's
    pink red acid

    * * *

    Here comes
    one now!

    * * *

    Step out into
    space. Good

    * * *

    Well, sleep,

    * * *

    Not man,

    the word.

    * * *

    What do you
    think those hills
    are going to do now?

    * * *

    They got
    all the
    lights on–
    all the people.

    * * *

    You know
    if you never
    you won't


    It's the scale
    that's attractive,
    and the water
    that's around it.

    * * *

    Did the young
    couple come
    only home
    from London?

    Where's the world
    one wants.

    * * *


    by one.

    * * *

    I wish I
    could see the stars.

    * * *

    Trees want
    to be still?
    won't let them?

    * * *

    it's night now.

    Same clock ticks
    in these different places.



    River wandering down
    below in the widening green
    fields between the hills–
    and the sea and the town.

    Time settled, or waiting,
    or about to be. People,
    the old couple, the two babies,
    beside me–the so-called

    aeroplane. Now
    be born,
    be born.

    * * *

    I'll never
    see you,
    want you,
    have you,
    know you–

    I'll never.

    * * *

    "Somebody's got to pay
    for the squeaks in the bed."

    * * *

    Such quiet,
    dog's scratch at door–

    pay for it all?

    * * *

    and talking.

    and drinking.

    * * *

    Light's out.


    "Summa wancha

    out back"


    * * *

    "Sonny Terry,
    "Brownie McGhee"

    in Dunedin (in


    10:30 AM: Ralph Hotere's

    See sun shine.
    Look across valley at houses.
    Chickens squawk.
    Bright glint off roofs.
    Water's also,
    in bay, in distance.



    You didn't think you
    could do it but you did.

    You didn't do it
    but you did.

    * * *

    Catching Cold

    I want to lay down
    and die–
    not now.

    * * *

    South, north, east, west,
    man–home's best.

    * * *

    Nary an exit
    in Christchurch.

    wee holes.


    Out Window: Taylor's Mistake



    * * *

    Friend Says of Job

    You get to see all kinds of life
    like man chasing wife
    in the driveway
    with their car.

    Mutual property!
    They want to sell their house?

    * * *

    Elsewise absences,
    eyes a grey blue,
    tawny Austrian

    hair–the voice,
    speaking, there.

    * * *

    Hermione, in the garden,
    "weeping at grief?"

    Stone-statued single woman–
    eyes alive.

    * * *

    Milton über Alles

    When I consider
    how my life is spent
    ere half my years
    on this vast blast

    are o'er ...

    * * *

    Reasoned recognitions–
    feelings fine.

    * * *

    to the world,
    it's still
    pretty much the same.

    That kiwi
    on yon roof
    is a symbol,
    but the ocean

    don't change.
    It's all round!
    let them kid you.


    Palmerston North


    I know what you'd say
    if I could ask you–
    but I'm tired of it–
    no word, nothing again.

    Letter from guy says,
    "she looks well,
    happy, working hard–"
    Forget it.

    I'm not there.
    I'm really here,
    with my hat on.

    It's a great day
    in New Zealand
    more or less.
    I'm not alone in this.

    Lady out window hangs clothes,
    reds and blues–
    basket, small kid,
    clothespins in mouth.

    Do I want to fuck,
    or eat?
    No problem.
    There's a telephone.

    I know what you mean,
    now "down under" here,
    that each life's
    got its own condition

    to find,
    to get on with.
    I suppose it's
    letting go, finally,

    that spooks me.
    And of course my arms
    are full as usual.
    I'm the only one I know.

    May I let this be
    West Acton, and
    myself six? No,
    I don't travel that way

    despite memories,
    all the dear or awful
    passages apparently
    I've gone through.

    Back to the weather,
    and dripping nose
    I truly wanted to forget here,
    but haven't–

    ok, old buddy,
    no projections, no regrets.
    You've been a dear friend
    to me in my time.

    If it's New Zealand
    where it ends,
    that makes a weird sense
    too. I'd never have guessed it.

    Say that all the ways
    are one–consumatum est
    like some soup
    I'd love to eat with you.


    This wide, shallow bowl,
    the sun, earth here
    moving easy, slow
    in the fall, the air
    with its lightness, the
    underchill now–flat, far out,
    to the mountains and the forest.
    Come home to its song?

    * * *

    Sitting at table–
    good talk
    with good people.

    * * *

    River's glint, wandering
    path of it.

    Old trees grown tall,
    look down on it all.

    * * *

    Bye-bye, kid says,
    girl, about five–
    peering look,
    digs my one eye.

    * * *

    Sun again, on table,
    smoke shaft of cigarette,
    ticking watch,
    chirr of cicadas–
    all world, all mind, all heart.



    Here again,
    shifting days,

    on the street.
    The people of my life

    last night's dreams,

    echoes now.
    The vivid sky, blue,

    sitting here in the sun–
    could I let it go?

    Useless question?
    Getting old?

    * * *

    I want to be a dog,
    when I die–
    a dog, a dog.

    * * *

    Bruce & Linley's House

    Fire back of grate
    in charming stove
    sits in the chimney hole,
    cherry red–
    but orange too.

    * * *

    Mrs. Manhire saw me
    on plane to Dunedin,
    but was too shy to speak
    in her lovely Scots accent.

    We meet later,
    and she notes the sounds are
    not very sweet
    in sad old Glasgow.

    But my wee toughness,
    likewise particularity,
    nonetheless come
    by blood from that city.

    * * *


    Will you be dust,
    reading this?

    Will you be sad
    when I'm gone.


    Sit Down

    Behind things
    or in front of them,
    always a goddamn
    adamant number stands

    up and shouts,
    I'm here, I'm here!
    –Sit down.

    * * *

    Mother and son
    get up,
    sit down.

    * * *


    Born and bred
    in Wellington
    she said–

    Light high,
    street black,
    singing still,

    "Born & bred
    in Wellington,
    she said–"

    * * *

    Doggie Bags

    Don't take
    the steak
    I ain't

    * * *

    The dishes
    to the sink
    if you've

    * * *

    else to go
    no I'm not

    * * *

    Ever if
    again home
    no roam
    (at the inn)

    * * *

    this way again

    thinking, last night,

    of Tim Hardin, girl singing,
    "Let me be your rainy day man ..."

    What's the time, dear.
    What's happening.

    * * *

    in Dunedin



    and a day.

    * * *

    Thinking light,
    whitish blue,
    shadow on
    the porch

    * * *

    Why, in Wellington,
    all the "Dunedin"–

    Why here



    Hamilton Hotel

    Magnolia tree out window
    here in Hamilton–
    years and years ago
    the house, in France,

    called Pavillion des Magnolias,
    where we lived and Charlotte
    was born, and time's gone
    so fast–.

    * * *

    Singing undersounds,
    birds, cicadas–
    overcast grey day.

    Lady far off across river,
    sitting on bench there,
    crossed legs, alone.

    * * *

    If the world's one's
    own experience of it,

    then why walk around
    in it, or think of it.

    More would be more
    than one could know

    alone, more than myself 's
    small senses, of it.


    So There

    Da. Da. Da da.
    Where is the song.
    What's wrong
    with life

    ever. More?
    Or less–
    days, nights,

    days. What's gone
    is gone forever
    every time
, old friend's
    voice here. I want

    to stay, somehow,
    if I could–
    if I would? Where else
    to go.

    The sea here's out
    the window, old
    switcher's house, vertical,
    railroad blues, lonesome

, etc. Can you
    think of Yee's Cafe
    in Needles, California
    opposite the train

    station–can you keep
    it ever
    together, old buddy, talking
    to yourself again?

    Meantime some yuk
    in Hamilton has blown
    the whistle on a charming
    evening I wanted

    to remember otherwise–
    the river there, that
    afternoon, sitting,
    friends, wine & chicken,

    watching the world go by.
    Happiness, happiness–
    so simple. What's
    that anger is that

    when this at least
    is free,
    to put it mildly.

    My aunt Bernice
    in Nokomis,
    Florida's last act,
    a poem for Geo. Washington's

    birthday. Do you want
    to say "it's bad"?
    In America, old sport,
    we shoot first, talk later,

    or just take you out to dinner.
    No worries, or not
    at the moment,
    sitting here eating bread,

    cheese, butter, white wine–
    like Bolinas, "Whale Town,"
    my home, like they say,
    in America. It's one world,

    it can't be another.
    So the beauty,
    beside me, rises,
    looks now out window–

    and breath keeps on breathing,
    heart's pulled in
    a sudden deep, sad
    longing, to want

    to stay–be another
    person some day,
    when I grow up.
    The world's somehow

    forever that way
    and its lovely, roily,
    shifting shores, sounding now,
    in my ears. My ears?

    Well, what's on my head
    as two skin appendages,
    comes with the package.
    I don't want to

    argue the point.
    it changes, gone,
    abstract, new places–

    moving on. Is this
    some old-time weird
    Odysseus trip
    sans paddle–up

    the endless creek?
    Thinking of you,
    baby, thinking
    of all the things

    I'd like to say and do.
    Old-fashioned time
    it takes to be
    anywhere, at all.

    Moving on. Mr. Ocean,
    Mr. Sky's
    got the biggest blue eyes
    in creation–

    here comes the sun!
    While we can,
    let's do it, let's
    have fun.


    Sidney, Australia


    Hard to believe
    it's all me

    this world

    of space & time,
    this place,


    fumbling at the mirror.



Excerpted from The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley 1975â?"2005 by Robert Creeley. Copyright © 2006 the Estate of Robert Creeley. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Old Poetry
Author's Note

Hello: A Journal, February 29 - May 3, 1976
Memory Gardens
Life & Death
If I were writing this
On Earth
Unpublished Poems

Index of Title and First Lines

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago