Cid Corman: On "I Know a Man"

I think one would have to be deaf dumb and blind to miss the wallop of Creeley's poem and not to feel the subtle handling of it, the way words and feelings are "scored" freshly.

[. . .]

It is a trait of Creeley s best work, as here, that it makes us hold judgment in abeyance, makes it seem superfluous, irrelevant. The event is so immediate and true. The speed, in this poem certainly, that the abbreviated notation implies, seems wholly consistent with what is going on. Part of the dissolution.

[. . .]

Creeley, even within the growing complexity and difficulty of the situation, where we are, sings. How simple! And how movingly concentratedly profound! How that broken "surrounds" envelops us, the self-criticism and the obsessiveness of "... because I am / always talking ... ", the loneliness and projection of "which was not his / name," the excitement in the penultimate stanza and the sharp painful braking of the last, the urgency of it, the feeling of near disaster, throwing us back upon the futile wish of "a goddamn big car." Every syllable pulls its weight and no punch pulled. There isn't "time," least of all to embroider.


Title Cid Corman: On "I Know a Man" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Cid Corman Criticism Target Robert Creeley
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 06 Jul 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Review of For Love
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