Monthly Archives: June 2010

Monday’s Verse, June 14, 2010


The best line of Robert Creeley’s (1926-2005) Wikipedia page is, “He
was a chicken farmer briefly before becoming a teacher.” Brilliant.
That, and the fact that he was almost 30 when he graduated from
college, gives me hope. I don’t know if he was struggling away on
science requirements or scraping chicken poop from a coop when he
wrote this, but anyone who produces even one piece like this can be an
American poet in my book any day. NB: I’ve been hearing the first 3
lines of this poem in my head, off and on, for something like 16
years, and only today was able to find it and identify its author. It
really IS a rhythm, and that, I believe, is why it’s stuck with me.


It is all a rhythm,
from the shutting
door, to the window

the seasons, the sun’s
light, the moon,
the oceans, the
growing of things,

the mind in men
personal, recurring
in them again,
thinking the end

is not the end, the
time returning,
themselves dead but
someone else coming.

If in death I am dead,
then in life also
dying, dying…
And the women cry and die.

The little children
grown only to old men.
The grass dries,
the force goes.

But is met by another
returning, oh not mine,
not mine, and
in turn dies.

The rhythm which projects
from itself continuity
bending all to its force
from window to door,
from ceiling to floor,
light at the opening,
dark at the closing.