Best Famous Robert Creeley Poems

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Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

Ballad Of The Despairing Husband

 My wife and I lived all alone,
contention was our only bone.
I fought with her, she fought with me, and things went on right merrily.
But now I live here by myself with hardly a damn thing on the shelf, and pass my days with little cheer since I have parted from my dear.
Oh come home soon, I write to her.
Go fuck yourself, is her answer.
Now what is that, for Christian word? I hope she feeds on dried goose turd.
But still I love her, yes I do.
I love her and the children too.
I only think it fit that she should quickly come right back to me.
Ah no, she says, and she is tough, and smacks me down with her rebuff.
Ah no, she says, I will not come after the bloody things you've done.
Oh wife, oh wife -- I tell you true, I never loved no one but you.
I never will, it cannot be another woman is for me.
That may be right, she will say then, but as for me, there's other men.
And I will tell you I propose to catch them firmly by the nose.
And I will wear what dresses I choose! And I will dance, and what's to lose! I'm free of you, you little prick, and I'm the one to make it stick.
Was this the darling I did love? Was this that mercy from above did open violets in the spring -- and made my own worn self to sing? She was.
I know.
And she is still, and if I love her? then so I will.
And I will tell her, and tell her right .
Oh lovely lady, morning or evening or afternoon.
Oh lovely lady, eating with or without a spoon.
Oh most lovely lady, whether dressed or undressed or partly.
Oh most lovely lady, getting up or going to bed or sitting only.
Oh loveliest of ladies, than whom none is more fair, more gracious, more beautiful.
Oh loveliest of ladies, whether you are just or unjust, merciful, indifferent, or cruel.
Oh most loveliest of ladies, doing whatever, seeing whatever, being whatever.
Oh most loveliest of ladies, in rain, in shine, in any weather.
Oh lady, grant me time, please, to finish my rhyme.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem


 She stood at the window.
There was a sound, a light.
She stood at the window.
A face.
Was it that she was looking for, he thought.
Was it that she was looking for.
He said, turn from it, turn from it.
The pain is not unpainful.
Turn from it.
The act of her anger, of the anger she felt then, not turning to him.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem


 Most explicit--
the sense of trap

as a narrowing
cone one's got

stuck into and
any movement

forward simply
wedges once more--

but where
or quite when,

even with whom,
since now there is no one

quite with you--Quite? Quiet?
English expression: Quait?

Language of singular
impedance? A dance? An

involuntary gesture to
others not there? What's

wrong here? How
reach out to the

other side all
others live on as

now you see the
two doctors, behind

you, in mind's eye,
probe into your anus,

or ass, or bottom,
behind you, the roto-

rooter-like device
sees all up, concludes

"like a worn-out inner tube,"
"old," prose prolapsed, person's

problems won't do, must
cut into, cut out .
The world is a round but diminishing ball, a spherical ice cube, a dusty joke, a fading, faint echo of its former self but remembers, sometimes, its past, sees friends, places, reflections, talks to itself in a fond, judgemental murmur, alone at last.
I stood so close to you I could have reached out and touched you just as you turned over and began to snore not unattractively, no, never less than attractively, my love, my love--but in this curiously glowing dark, this finite emptiness, you, you, you are crucial, hear the whimpering back of the talk, the approaching fears when I may cease to be me, all lost or rather lumped here in a retrograded, dislocating, imploding self, a uselessness talks, even if finally to no one, talks and talks.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

Water Music

 The words are a beautiful music.
The words bounce like in water.
Water music, loud in the clearing off the boats, birds, leaves.
They look for a place to sit and eat-- no meaning, no point.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

The Conspiracy

 You send me your poems,
I'll send you mine.
Things tend to awaken even through random communication Let us suddenly proclaim spring.
And jeer at the others, all the others.
I will send a picture too if you will send me one of you.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem


 As I was walking
 I came upon
chance walking
 the same road upon.
As I sat down by chance to move later if and as I might, light the wood was, light and green, and what I saw before I had not seen.
It was a lady accompanied by goat men leading her.
Her hair held earth.
Her eyes were dark.
A double flute made her move.
"O love, where are you leading me now?"
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

The Way

 My love's manners in bed
are not to be discussed by me,
as mine by her
I would not credit comment upon gracefully.
Yet I ride by the margin of that lake in the wood, the castle, and the excitement of strongholds; and have a small boy's notion of doing good.
Oh well, I will say here, knowing each man, let you find a good wife too, and love her as hard as you can.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

The Carnival

 Whereas the man who hits
the gong dis-
proves it, in all its
simplicity --

Even so the attempt
makes for triumph, in
another man.
Likewise in love I am not foolish or in- competent.
My method is not a tenderness, but hope defined.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

A Form Of Women

 I have come far enough
from where I was not before
to have seen the things
looking in at me from through the open door

and have walked tonight
by myself
to see the moonlight
and see it as trees

and shapes more fearful
because I feared
what I did not know
but have wanted to know.
My facd is my own, I thought.
But you have seen it turn into a thousand years.
I watched you cry.
I could not touch you.
I wanted very much to touch you but could not.
If it is dark when this is given to you, have care for its content when the moon shines.
My face is my own.
My hands are my own.
My mouth is my own but I am not.
Moon, moon, whn you leave me alone all the darkness is an utter blackness, a pit of fear, a stench, hands unreasonable never to touch.
But I love you.
Do you love me.
What to say when you see me.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

Clementes Images


Sleeping birds, lead me,
soft birds, be me

inside this black room,
back of the white moon.
In the dark night sight frightens me.
2) Who is it nuzzles there with furred, round headed stare? Who, perched on the skin, body's float, is holding on? What other one stares still, plays still, on and on? 3) Stand upright, prehensile, squat, determined, small guardians of the painful outside coming in -- in stuck in vials with needles, bleeding life in, particular, heedless.
4) Matrix of world upon a turtle's broad back, carried on like that, eggs as pearls, flesh and blood and bone all borne along.
5) I'll tell you what you want, to say a word, to know the letters in yourself, a skin falls off, a big eared head appears, an eye and mouth.
6) Under watery here, under breath, under duress, understand a pain has threaded a needle with a little man -- gone fishing.
And fish appear.
7) If small were big, if then were now, if here were there, if find were found, if mind were all there was, would the animals still save us? 8) A head was put upon the shelf got took by animal's hand and stuck upon a vacant corpse who, blurred, could nonetheless not ever be the quietly standing bird it watched.
9) Not lost, not better or worse, much must of necessity depend on resources, the pipes and bags brought with us inside, all the sacks and how and to what they are or were attached.
10) Everybody's child walks the same winding road, laughs and cries, dies.
That's "everybody's child," the one who's in between the others who have come and gone.
11) Turn as one will, the sky will always be far up above the place he thinks to dream as earth.
There float the heavenly archaic persons of primordial birth, held in the scan of ancient serpent's tooth, locked in the mind as when it first began.
12) Inside I am the other of a self, who feels a presence always close at hand, one side or the other, knows another one unlocks the door and quickly enters in.
Either as or, we live a common person.
Two is still one.
It cannot live apart.
13) Oh, weep for me -- all from whom life has stolen hopes of a happiness stored in gold's ubiquitous pattern, in tinkle of commodious, enduring money, else the bee's industry in hives of golden honey.
14) He is safely put in a container, head to foot, and there, on his upper part, wears still remnants of a life he lived at will -- but, lower down, he probes at that doubled sack holds all his random virtues in a mindless fact.
15) The forms wait, swan, elephant, crab, rabbit, horse, monkey, cow, squirrel and crocodile.
From the one sits in empty consciousness, all seemingly has come and now it goes, to regather, to tell another story to its patient mother.
16) Reflection reforms, each man's a life, makes its stumbling way from mother to wife -- cast as a gesture from ignorant flesh, here writes in fumbling words to touch, say, how can I be, when she is all that was ever me? 17) Around and in -- And up and down again, and far and near -- and here and there, in the middle is a great round nothingness.
18) Not metaphoric, flesh is literal earth.
turns to dust as all the body must, becomes the ground wherein the seed's passed on.
19) Entries, each foot feels its own way, echoes passage in persons, holds the body upright, the secret of thresholds, lintels, opening body above it, looks up, looks down, moves forward.
20) Necessity, the mother of invention, father of intention, sister to brother to sister, to innumerable others, all one as the time comes, death's appointment, in the echoing head, in the breaking heart.
21) In self one's place defined, in heart the other find.
In mind discover I, in body find the sky.
Sleep in the dream as one, wake to the others there found.
22) Emptying out each complicating part, each little twist of mind inside, each clenched fist, each locked, particularizing thought, forgotten, emptying out.
23) What did it feel like to be one at a time -- to be caught in a mind in the body you'd found in yourself alone -- in each other one? 24) Broken hearts, a curious round of echoes -- and there behind them the old garden with its faded, familiar flowers, where all was seemingly laced together -- a trueness of true, a blueness of blue.
25) The truth is in a container of no size or situation.
It has nothing inside.
Worship -- Warship.
Sail away.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

The Rain

 All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quite, persistent rain.
What am I to myself that must be remembered, insisted upon so often? Is it that never the ease, even the hardness, of rain falling will have for me something other than this, something not so insistent-- am I to be locked in this final uneasiness.
Love, if you love me, lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain, the getting out of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi- lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet with a decent happiness.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem


 America, you ode for reality!
Give back the people you took.
Let the sun shine again on the four corners of the world you thought of first but do not own, or keep like a convenience.
People are your own word, you invented that locus and term.
Here, you said and say, is where we are.
Give back what we are, these people you made, us, and nowhere but you to be.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

A Token

 My lady
fair with
arms, what

can I say to
you-words, words
as if all
worlds were there.
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem


 The thing comes
of itself

 (Look up
to see
 the cat & the squirrel,
 the one
torn, a red thing,
 & the other
somehow immaculate
Written by Robert Creeley | Create an image from this poem

A Wicker Basket

 Comes the time when it's later
and onto your table the headwaiter
puts the bill, and very soon after
rings out the sound of lively laughter--

Picking up change, hands like a walrus,
and a face like a barndoor's,
and a head without any apparent size,
nothing but two eyes--

So that's you, man,
or me.
I make it as I can, I pick up, I go faster than they know-- Out the door, the street like a night, any night, and no one in sight, but then, well, there she is, old friend Liz-- And she opens the door of her cadillac, I step in back, and we're gone.
She turns me on-- There are very huge stars, man, in the sky, and from somewhere very far off someone hands me a slice of apple pie, with a gob of white, white ice cream on top of it, and I eat it-- Slowly.
And while certainly they are laughing at me, and all around me is racket of these cats not making it, I make it in my wicker basket.