Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Back To Literature, Past
A Literary & Poetry Column
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

A Simple Good-bye to Robert Creeley

   I didn't know Robert Creeley well. A few years ago he substituted for another poetry teacher for only one class. I was in St. Petersburg, Russia studying at Herzen University with Summer Literary Semester ( when he appeared miraculously at the head of the table in the small room where our group met. I was in awe at the opportunity to learn from him, so in awe that I forgot to take notes. I remember that he said something about "poetry misunderstood." I thought he meant that beginning poets try to get too fancy, too literary,

     Since then I have noticed that he has always heeded his own advice. I especially love the simplicity of his later poems. We all grow more aware of our mortality as we age. His poem "Goodbye" seems as if it were written to serve as his own eulogy.

He says,

"The century was well along
when I came in
and now that it's ending,
I realize it won't
be long."

He talks of love. Says that his body is impatient. And then he says poignantly (and simply), "I want no more than home."

Robert Creeley has what he wanted. Good-bye and thank you.

Tips and Tidbits

Each month in this box, Carolyn lists a writing or promotion tidbit that will help authors and a tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected books or a sapphire among the newly-published.

Writers' Tidbit: The demand for my THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T has been so great I started a free newsletter called “Sharing with Writers” that will continue to feed tips and resources on book promotion and writing to authors long after they’ve read FRUGAL. Send an e-mail to with “subscribe” in the subject line.

Readers' Tip: It is not easy to provide some kids with enough books to keep them away from the TV. Enter Lea Schizas's new e-book (only $6.95)! It asks: What if you were hit with the realization that you were of royal lineage…to another realm? This is what fourteen-year old Alexandra Stone has to face in The Rock of Realm. It incorporates three learning elements – discovery friendship and courage. But the biggest lesson the young adult reader will absorb is that ‘things are not always as they appear to be’. The Rock of Realm will shatter the concept of ‘villain’. Find it at

2005 Past Columns

A Simple Good-bye to Robert Creeley

© MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.