14 March 2010

Robert Creeley

[from an interview with Robert Creeley in David Ossman's The Sullen Art: Interviews with Modern American Poets, Corinth, 1963]

In the earlier poems . . . the emotional terms are very difficult. The poems come from a context that was difficult to live in, and so I wanted the line to be used to register that kind of problem, or that kind of content. Elsewhere I remember I did say that "Form is never more than an extension of content," and by that I meant that the thing to be said will, in that way, determine how it will be said. So that if you're saying, "Go light the fire," "fire" in that registration will have one kind of emphasis, and if you start screaming, "Fire! Fire!" of course that will have another. In other words, the content of what is semantically involved will very much function in how the statement of it occurs. Now the truncated line, or the short, seemingly broken line I was using in my first poems, comes from the somewhat broken emotions that were involved in them. Now, as I begin to relax, as I not so much grow older, but more settled, more at ease in my world, the line can not so much grow softer, but can become . . . more lyrical, less afraid of concluding. And rhyme, of course, is to me a balance not only of sounds, but a balance which implies agreement. That's why, I suppose, I'd stayed away from rhymes in the early poems except for this kind of ironic throwback on what was being said.

1 comment:

  1. i like this idea of rhyme as balance. i want to think about that some more :)