David Reads “Oh No,” by Robert Creeley

English: Taken during the taping of Add-Verse ...
Taken during the taping of Add-Verse in Maine 2004, by Gloria Graham. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a rough weekend here at the Bauman Ranch, so I’m going to unwind with a glass of wine and a little irony from our old friend Robert Creeley. Along with a few favorites in my poem-a-day recordings this year, I’m also trying to bring you some poems by poets whose work I have not recorded before.

And I noticed that if I give a little less commentary, I get some really juicy, chewy explication in the comments section, and that makes me happy. I’d like to know what you think of this one. I don’t think that I did the lining credit in my inflection and pauses, but since I’ve been trying to do these in as few takes as possible (another new twist to my personal challenge this year), I decided to let it stand.

According to the Poetry Foundation, “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.” He’s worth reading up on, and his tight arrangements of aesthetic and soul have been growing on me the more I read of him.

You may have heard that this year’s winner of the Robert Creeley Award was poet Naomi Shihab Nye. If you’d like to read more of Creeley’s poems here are a few more to get you started.

Oh No

If you wander far enough
you will come to it
and when you get there
they will give you a place to sit

for yourself only, in a nice chair,
and all your friends will be there
with smiles on their faces
and they will likewise all have places.

–by Robert Creeley

11 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Oh look! It comes with a blooper reel! How fun!

    Nice reading … I think what it nice about readings is that one often hears it read in a way that is different than then your voice, different than your own reading of it.

    Maybe we should do a community blog …. pick a poem a week, and ask for submissions, just to see how many ways a poem can be read…


    1. 🙂 I’m tickled that you enjoyed the blooper reel. I have been trying to do these in as few takes as possible. Most of the ones this week were recorded in one or two takes, but this one tripped me up a bit. I think I wanted it to be as perfect as it was compact. I don’t think I accomplished that as I paused in what I now feel are some of the wrong places. I like your idea a lot though, about a community blog for this sort of thing. What fun!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh No ! K


  3. keatsbabe says:

    I love this poem. Simple and powerful. Thanks…


    1. 🙂 So glad to hear from you as always, dear!


  4. slpmartin says:

    Rather enjoyed the blooper also. 🙂


    1. haha, Thanks! I had another that was funny, but probably blog-inappropriate. 🙂


  5. I hope the roughness has smoothed out at the Bauman Ranch!

    I like your reading here; you do justice to the poem’s wisdom and directness.

    A question about the second photo in the video, the one with the mountains in the background: could that perhaps be Gary Snyder instead of Robert Creeley? (If not, their resemblance is striking!)


    1. Thank you! It has. And actually, it wasn’t here on the Ranch so much. It’s almost always peaceful here. I was just worn out from work, and Brian was worn out from winning second place in a Magic, the Gathering Tournament. 🙂 Lawyer, musician, gamer, we are a house of diverse interests.

      As for the photo, I’ll have to look. It could be, now that you mention it. If it is, can I somehow tie Gary Snyder into this piece and pretend like all good poets do, that I meant to do that?


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