Thursday, March 31, 2005


I walked around all day yesterday with a huge ball of emotion inside of me, feeling completely bereft at the death of Robert Creeley. I arrived early at Kelly Writers House for the excellent John Tranter reading only to discover that an impromptu memorial service for Robert was already in progress. While I was there, Bob Perelman read “The Plan is the Body,” Rachel Blau DuPlessis told a marvelous tale of a time, many years ago at the University of Maine, when Robert showed great solidarity with her plight attempting to be on a panel & care for a rambunctious two-year old at the same time, I read “Le Fou,” Tom Devaney read part of a larger piece by Andrei Codrescu, then a poet whose name I know only as Andy discussed his students' reaction to the news at Temple & read “The World.” Tranter himself concluded with “I Know a Man.” The image of the father was invoked by several speakers. While I didn’t use those words myself, I know that there has never been a time over the past 40 years when I did not think of Robert Creeley as being anything less than the dean of living American poets.


I’m sure that at some point I’ll have something more intelligible to say about Robert’s enormous contribution to poetry, and about the person as well. But right now I am not able to do so.


An obit from NPR’s All Things Considered is here. Kelly Writers House will have a second memorial service for Robert on Monday, April 4, from 5:00 until 6:00 p.m.