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(12/22/2014) Memory Gardens by Robert Creeley. New York. 1986. New Directions. 88 pages.  hardcover. Photograph by Denny Moers; design by Hermann Strohbach.  0811209733 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The title of Robert Creeley’s gathering of poems, Memory Gardens, softly announces his meditative theme. As on a quiet walk through a familiar landscape, the poet leads us along paths of recollection. Thoughts turn back upon themselves, evoking half-forgotten intangibles of past moments. Childhood and family, old loves lost and new loves gained, the change of seasons, supper in the kitchen—it is such particularities as these that Creeley catches with the spare lines of his tight constructions. Though comprised of short poems in the main, the collection includes three exceptional Sequences: the poignant ‘Four for John Daley’; ‘Apres Anders,’ macaronic improvisations on work by the German poet Richard Anders; and ‘A Calendar,’ a group of twelve poems, one for each month of the year, appropriately concluding the book with a December ‘Memory’ (‘On1y us then/remember, discover,/still can care for /the human’). Some Comments About Robert Creeley’s Poetry: ‘Creeley is absolutely mesmerizing in his ability to suspend and to define the passage of thought, the process of experience in all its ironic, inexorable sadness. No poetic theories are required to support such art; it achieves its own permanence by relating at once to our own groping, semi-articulate wonder.’ - Joyce Carol Oates, The New Republic. ‘One of the very few contemporaries with whom it is essential to keep in contact.’ - Hugh Kenner. ‘[Creeley] is on anyone’s short list of the best working American poets.’ - The Washington Post. ‘His influence on contemporary American poetry has probably been more deeply felt than any other writer of his generation.’ - Terry Southern, The New York Times Book Review.

 

  Robert Creeley (May 21, 1926 – March 30, 2005) was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Maine, Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

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