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||View||PDF Version||View|
|Contexts||No Data||Tags||No Data|