In his last years, he articulated feelings about entering the common place, the common experiences, being just like everyone else.
He brought to this meditation all the twists and turns in consciousness for which he is justly known, the semantic images, the deictic pointing, his sense of the forthcoming there-ness (which is blank) and the present here-ness (which is full) — affirmation and anxiety, plenitude and suspicion all missed up together. There’s Creeley also brought to this task his continuous checking on the body, its placement in time, in space, and in syntax — which were both of these others together — and his intimate account of the body’s functioning and intactness — intactness and vulnerability being his long-standing themes. As always, Creeley was precise, frank and not squeamish about tracking shifts of consciousness and feeling, in the oscillation, pulses and the balance/imbalance of syntax, linebreak, diction and semantic image.
‘I had not really understood what the lone boy whistling in the graveyard was in fact of,’ inferentially suggesting (acknowledging — it is not meant reductively) that these works go singing to stave off death (2001, ‘A Note’ 252).
If you are still whistling, you know you’re not dead.
He writes poems like nursery rhymes for old age, and by appropriating that ‘simple’ sound — lots of rhyme, marked rhythmic punch, poems skirting doggerel, ‘bad’ poetry — he also plays with what has been culturally coded female or feminine or minor.