Weekly Poem: ‘New Year’s’
By Robert Creeley
The end of the year wears its face in the moon against the
disguises one would otherwise put upon it.
It is the mild temper of midnight that embarrasses us and oh!
we turn away into reassuring daylight but backwards.
If it were the forward motion one wanted
What tempers would not be resolved, can one keep the night out
of it as or when it was there?
Darling (she had gone) we speak as if there never were an
We speak (to the back, to sleep, to heads). We are alone in the
new minute, hour, or year, or nowhere.
House. Your hand is too far from me. Tree, speak. The moon is
white in the branches, the night is white in the mind of it.
Love, tell me the time. What time is it? The second, the moment
moving in the moon?
Of the strangeness of bending backwards until the mind is an
instant of mind in the moon’s light white upon an
Endless black desert, the sand, in the night of the last moment
of the year.
Robert Creeley (1926-2005) was one of the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century. He was the author more than 60 books of poetry and other writing. For more than 30 years, Creeley taught at the State University of New York-Buffalo, helping to turn its poetics program into one of the most famous havens for avant-garde writing in the world. The audio of Creeley reading “New Year’s” was recorded at Harvard University on Oct. 27, 1966, and is made available by PennSound, which is “an ongoing project, committed to producing new audio recordings and preserving existing audio archives.”