Cynthia Dubin Edelberg: On "For Love"

In For Love’s title poem, dedicated to his second wife, Creeley tries to make a definitive statement about love. He attempts to gather his thoughts together as this hesitant sounding passage, full of the unsaid, suggests:

It the moon did not . . . no, if you did not I wouldn't either, but what would I not

do, what prevention, what thing so quickly stopped. That is love yesterday or tomorrow, not

now. . . .

He is determined to understand love because all he knows "derives/ from what it teaches" him. Yet, he concludes, his thoughts are "vague." He is unable to make a statement about love which is both valid and useful to him. The central point is that he takes responsibility for his failure. . . .

The poet, both victim and torturer (as he also presents himself in "The Plan"), agonizes over the possibility that love might be defined in such a way as to make its reality accessible and malleable. Unable to realize his ambition, he gives up the pursuit: "no/ mind left to// say anything at all." The final lines of "For Love" show the poet resigned to not-knowing: "Into the company of love/ it all returns."


Title Cynthia Dubin Edelberg: On "For Love" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Cynthia Dubin Edelberg Criticism Target Robert Creeley
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 06 Jul 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Robert Creeley’s Poetry: A Critical Introduction
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags No Data

Rate this Content

No Data
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Total votes: 0
Use the above slider to rate this item. You can only submit one rating per item, and your rating will be factored in to the item's popularity on our listings.

Share via Social Media