Robert Creeley died?

How can that be possible?

I just wrote yesterday to Allen Bramhall (in a comment on his post about his father’s death) that he’d helped me remember how death is both “utterly normal and utterly unimaginable.”

Here, then, one of the most beautiful poems I can think of:

If You                                                                               

If you were going to get a pet

what kind of animal would you get.

A soft bodied dog, a hen–

feathers and fur to begin it again.

When the sun goes down and it gets dark

I saw an animal in a park.

Bring it home, to give it to you.

I have seen animals break in two.

You were hoping for something soft

and loyal and clean and wondrously careful–

a form of otherwise vicious habit

can have long ears and be called a rabbit.

Dead. Died. Will die. want.

Morning, midnight. I asked you

if you were going to get a pet

what kind of animal would you get.


One thought on “

  1. Couldn’t sleep tonight and when I can’t sleep I recite to myself. Thought of Creeley’s If You but couldn’t remember the “you were hoping for something soft…” line; so I got up to look it up online. Found your site and your reference. Nice. It’s a great poem. Spooky, I think: accusatory? I’ve wondered if PETA could use it. Love the rabbit line. Always remember that. And also the Dead, died, will die, want… so moving.

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