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