On Missing Him - Or Anyone

            Far and Away, written by Fanny Howe, was dedicated to Robert Creeley, founder of The Black Mountain Movement.

Robert Creeley
Robery Creeley
The Poetrycooker attended UNCW, where I studied Creative Writing. While in Wilmington, I read quite a bit of this talented poet.   

I met Mr. Creeley on a cold evening after one of his readings.  He was friendly, hilarious and nearly blind. This, sardonic, world-renowned poet turned out to be a sweet, self deprecating old gent who thanked me for coming to his reading and spoke to me as if I were an old friend.

 A few weeks later he passed away. I only stumbled across this poem at the Poetry Foundation this evening, and nearly seven years later it is just as heartwarming apt, as if his passing were fresh.
So, here's to you Mr. Creeley - wherever you are...


              Far and Away [excerpt]

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The rain falls on.
Acres of violets unfold.
Dandelion, mayflower
Myrtle and forsythia follow.

The cardinals call to each other.
Echoes of delicate
Breath-broken whistles.

I know something now
About subject, object, verb
And about one word that fails
For lack of substance.

Now people say, He passed on
Instead of that.  Unit
Of space subtracted by one.
It almost rhymes with earth.

What is a poet but a person
Who lives on the ground
Who laughs and listens

Without pretension of knowing
Anything, driven by the lyric's
Quest for rest that never
(God willing) will be found?

Concord, kitchen table, 1966.
Corbetts, Creeley, a grandmother
And me.  Sweater, glasses,
One wet eye.

Lots of laughter
Before and after. Every meeting
Rhymed and fluttered into meter.
The beat was the message. . . .

   (for Robert Creeley)


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