There definitely needs to be more books like this one. It is eloquent, beautifully written, intelligent and at times humorous. Almost like literary crThere definitely needs to be more books like this one. It is eloquent, beautifully written, intelligent and at times humorous. Almost like literary criticism, but for video games. Bissell explains why video games matter, but mainly to himself. The book is very personal to the author, but in the specific you can generalize to all. ...more
I like Robert Creeley's poetry. But not this book. This was Creeley's last book of poetry published before he died, and it feels like it. His poems haI like Robert Creeley's poetry. But not this book. This was Creeley's last book of poetry published before he died, and it feels like it. His poems have the tone of looking back over a life lived. Titles like "Memory" (twice), "Yesterdays", and "Life" are a strong clue.
Most of the poems have a dedication. If they aren't dedicated to a particular person the poem may be named for someone. It's like Creeley wanted to make sure to have a poem for everyone that was important in his life. The reminiscent tone could be a vibrant one, with lots of imagery and detail, but instead it was very specific that only the person he is writing to would get the references. Here's an example a short poem called "There (2)" for Doug Messerli:
Well if ever, Then when never --
House's round, Sound's sound
Here's where Comes there
If you do, They will too.
Playing with sound, yes, but near meaningless to the reader. I find it too vague. Maybe Doug knows what Creeley is referencing.
The poem titled for the book, "If I Were Writing This" wasn't the best poem. Perhaps an intriguing title, but I would choose "The Way", the opening poem, or "Wild Nights, Wild Nights" as his best in this collection. Other than those two there wasn't much to call good. I have this sense that these got published because of his name. If I wrote some of these exact poems with my unknown name and tried to get published, it wouldn't happen. So a couple out of roughly 75, not good odds. Creeley was working on another book of poetry that was published posthumously, unless there's a dramatic change in style, I'm not going to visit it. Instead will stick to his earlier, better works.