On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay

Stephen Burtwrites:
Creeley’s last essay (collected, with last poems, in On Earth) considers Whitman’s late, short poems of ebb tides and declines: ‘Daily, it would seem, the persons one has lived with go, leaving an inexorable emptiness.’ His own late poems make peace with their purported inconsequence, their unshowy, unhurried manner revealing a late style that knows all too well how late it is: ‘Amazing what mind makes/out of its little pictures,’ one page concludes, ‘the squiggles and dots,/not to mention the words.’

(LRB 21 February 2008)

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