A few years ago, I introduced the work of the poet Robert Creeley to an undergraduate student of mine at Florida State University named Grayson Goga. Like so many students, Grayson fell for Creeley’s work — but unlike many students, he decided to make a film about Creeley. For the final project for a documentary film course at FSU, Grayson tracked down the poet’s son, Will Creeley, travelled to his home to conduct an interview and film Will and his own young son and, along with some fellow students in the film program at FSU, made this moving short documentary.
The film focuses on Will’s memories of his father and his lasting legacy, as he reminisces about growing up in a world where Allen Ginsberg and other literary figures were his dad’s close friends. It features Will reading a tender poem his father wrote for him, “Time (For Willy),” as well as another Creeley poem, “‘When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer…,'” read first by Will and then by Creeley himself.
“For Will” is a touching, intimate tribute to a wonderful and influential poet.
And I’m definitely going to file this one under “Things that Make Me Very Happy to Be a Teacher.”
What an absolutely beautiful, moving film.
This is SO BEAUTIFUL Will! I completely agree with everything you say about Dad! Life is so much easier when we are raised with a clear moral compass! I’m grateful for that, too, and I also miss him everyday! I LOVE this video!!!
Thanks for your comment, Sarah, and I’m so pleased you liked the video. I continue to think about (and teach and write about) your father and his work all the time — he is sorely missed by so many of us.
How moving to hear him again.. Just today, a friend (in Spain, a physician) who had never heard his name before last week was blown open by “The Rain” (Be wet /with a decent happiness)… Robert Creeley keeps making the path easier, more humane, years after, for some of us in a country he loved so much. I was twenty something working in a major cultural center in Madrid in 1992 and we invited him to read. He came. Spent two days together in the city, pretty much unaccompanied. I still remember some of the things he told me, poets from his generation, a story about William Carlos Williams. We corresponded a bit after, and visited again to give a talk in a museum and saw each other. I can’t say that we were friends but he treated me like one. He cared. Such sweetness, so many times helped and relieved by his poems. Afterwords, working in a project in Mallorca, searched out Bañalbufar, the far out steep little sea town where he lived. Gracias Will, Gracias Andrew, Gracias Grace, Gracias Grayson, so touched.
Onward Bob, Onward!
Love this heartfelt tribute to your dad !
He was a touchstone for me and I’m SO glad to have known him !