Thanks to the Poetry App on my android phone, I was able to listen to a few poems today while riding the stationery bike at the gym, especially during the cool down period.
Robert Creeley was one of the poets that I ended up listening to and then re-listening to again. In particular, I was stuck on his poems "The Rain," "For Love," and "The Tunnel."
I first learned of Creeley in graduate school. One of my professors, William Harris, mentioned Creeley on a few different occasions in passing. So I looked up his poems and also read about his involvement with the Black Mountain Poets.
I never really became steeped in Creeley's work, but he was one of the many poets I kept in mind as I moved through the world, and through bookstores, and anthologies. He was one I'd pause for and look over his poems.
So today while scrolling through the many poems and poets I did recognize on the audio list on the Poetry App, I saw the name "Robert Creeley" and decided to read and listen to his poems. I'm glad I took the time to do so.
For some reason, it was not until today that I really considering reading and listening to poetry while exercising. A lot of exercises won't allow it. But it is possible while riding the stationery bike or using any of the other equipment one does while headphones. I enjoy reading along while listening so my hands needed to be free, and with this exercise bike that was possible.
Creeley read slow and deliberate in way that did not necessarily match the pace of my pedaling. I was slowing down though. I likely slowed a little more when I heard the sound of his voice, which sounded so somber.
I actually liked the contrast though. His words were a world a away in some respects from my surroundings in that gym.
Smartphones and Black Poetry: Some Preliminary Impressions