An Elder, Robert Creeley

Years ago, Beverly Rainbolt and I self-published a poetry chapbook, Visible Progress, and lucky us, we attended a poetry conference which Robert Creeley also attended. We caught his attention for, oh, ten minutes, and asked if he would read it. Little did I know at that point that Creeley would be a supporter and a model for two green poets. But I sent him a copy of the chapbook, and I have for many years had hanging on my wall his brief but encouraging response, urging us “Onward!” And onward we went.

As fate or circumstance would have it, years later I moved back to my home state of Maine, and there he was. He had a home in Maine and often read in places I knew well. I have a mental photo album of him at several such encounters, where he was always friendly and approachable. Creeley believed that poetry is, as W. C. Williams said, “just fun. Fun. Fun.”

 In a recent visit to West Side Books in Denver, I scooped up Day Book of a Virtual Poet by Robert Creeley, the dateline, Waldoboro, Maine. What I didn’t suspect until I opened the book, was that he was leading an online poetry group, and here I am online, having fun. His voice on the page is all I could hope for, comfortable and warm and encouraging. There’s nothing there I would change. Thank you again Bob Creeley. RIP

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