cover image The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley: 1975-2005

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley: 1975-2005

Robert Creeley. University of California Press, $60 (662pp) ISBN 978-0-520-24159-6

Creeley, who died last year at nearly 80, was one of the great poets of the American 20th century. This collection brings together the books from the second half of his career, forming a companion to a volume covering 1945-1975. This book doesn't contain Creeley's breakout volume, For Love (1962), but it does have some magnificent poetry. There are elegiac poems throughout-the first poem from Later (1979), ""Myself,"" begins ""What, younger, felt/ was possible, now knows/ is not."" There are nine books collected here in all, plus four previously unpublished poems. In a short note, Creeley's wife Penelope mentions that they had discussed his writing a preface for this book: ""He had thought about what he wanted to say: 'These are my poems. I love them and stand by them.'"" Readers will do the same over the course of the 21st century.