The Pattern

By Robert Creeley 1926–2005 Robert Creeley
As soon as   
I speak, I   
speaks. It

wants to   
be free but   
impassive lies

in the direction   
of its
words. Let

x equal x, x   
equals x. I

speak to   
hear myself   
speak? I

had not thought   
that some-
thing had such

undone. It   
was an idea   
of mine.

Robert Creeley, “The Pattern” from The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975. Copyright © 1992 by the Regents of the University of California. Reprinted with the permission of the University of California Press,

Source: Poetry (June 1964).


This poem originally appeared in the June 1964 issue of Poetry magazine

June 1964
 Robert  Creeley


Once known primarily for his association with the group called the “Black Mountain Poets,” at the time of his death in 2005, Robert Creeley was widely recognized as one of the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century. His poetry is noted for both its concision and emotional power. Albert Mobilio, writing in the Voice Literary Supplement, observed: “Creeley has shaped his own audience. The much . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

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