Robert Creeley’s “The Messengers” (for Allen)


[Robert Creeley and Allen Ginsberg, ca 1965]

More Robert Creeley. Last week we featured his reading of his poem dedicated in memoriam to Allen, “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer..” – Here‘s another, earlier one, (the reading is from the legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference).



The huge dog, Broderick, and

the smile of the quick eyes

of Allen light a kind world.


Their feelings under some distance

of remote  skin, must touch,

wondering at what impatience does


block them. So little love

to share among so many, so much

yellow-orange hair on the one,


and on the other, such a darkness

of long hanging hair now, such

slightness of body, and a voice that


rises on the sounds of feeling

Aie! It raises the world, lifts,

falls, like a sudden sunlight. like


the edge of the black night sweeps

the low lying fields. of soft grasses,

bodies, fills them with quiet longing.


The poem was included in his book Words  (1967), and also appears in The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley – Volume 1  (1945-1975)   (1982) and Selected Poems (1945-2005)  (2008)

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