Poetry by Robert Creeley
With a lilt––“’That’s the way / (that’s the way) / I like it / (I like it)’”––Robert Creeley begins his verse journal Hello, the record of a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia. Starting in Fiji, he then spent a month in New Zealand (the trip having been sponsored by the New Zealand Arts Council), followed in a few weeks’ time by stays in Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea. It was a singular experience, coming as it did at a time of much change in the poet’s personal life. He went, as he remarks in a postscript, “because I wanted to––to look, to see, even if briefly, how people in those parts of the world made a reality, to talk of being American, of the past war, of power, of usual life in this country, of my fellow and sister poets, of my neighbors on Fargo Street in Buffalo, New York. I wanted, at last, to be human, however simplistic that wish. I took thus my own chances and remarkably found a company.” The text is a graph of outward detail and inner change, kaleidoscopic in its sense of moving from place to place, warm in its feeling of being at home in the human community.