Binding Voices

Peter Sherburn-Zimmer


For Robert


Taking up the work of his early hero,

He bought a book of the books of Robert Lowell,

The best portraitist he’d ever known, to lean from one

Who made poems out of a whole into a whole,

Unlike his master, Creeley, who said, after Island,

He stopped revising: making poetry and doing it…

Somehow the difference might escape his readers too,

But he listens every time to the break in the line

As he writes and moves on to the next piece

Without revision, yet wonders at the art from this youth,

So admired: whole leading to whole, this too was craft,

This too the voice of the Muse, restrained and unrestrained.

Why choose between this and that, between Pound

And Stevens and Emily Dickinson, when it chooses you anyway?