cover image Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Robert Creeley. University of California Press, $50 (366pp) ISBN 978-0-520-06935-0

Creeley, poet laureate of New York State, constantly gauges what it means to be human, in poems that cope with the rush of memories, the chaos of dreams, the sudden flare of feelings. His mercurial verses on love and life's vicissitudes respond instinctively to our innate but half-articulated need for roots, familial, social and spiritual. There is a deep strain of pessimism in a poet who proclaims ``both men and women cold / hold at last to no one / die alone.'' From the pared-down, pure diction of ``For Love'' to the recent complex thought-experiments of ``Memory Gardens'' and ``Windows,'' this gathering of 200 poems charts the trajectory of a poet who delights in words and remains true to self. (June)