Jun 24, 2008

The grace and joy of Robert Creeley


He is the only man I ever met who wore an eye patch. This is not completely true, because I have been to a few Halloween parties where there were men dressed up as pirates, but for Robert Creeley it wasn't a costume. He wore it to cover up his messed-up eye.

He was an old and very famous poet, when I met him (at least as famous as a person can be as a poet), and he was wearing an eye patch, which he doesn't do in most of the pictures you see. I remember having the strong impression that Creeley was actually less like a pirate than any person I'd ever met.

He reminded me more of a fast-talking salesman, who has taken a vow of silence, or a one-time braggart, who's renouncing talking. He was just really quiet, speaking humbly, talking softly, but it seemed somehow ascetic.

Read the full column: Words full of holes