Robert Creeley

(1926-2005 / United States)

A Marriage


The first retainer
he gave to her
was a golden
wedding ring.

The second--late at night
we woke up,
leaned over on an elbow,
and kissed her.

The third and the last--
he died with
and gave up loving
and lived with her.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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  • M C (8/22/2012 10:11:00 AM)

    I like how the poem speaks of the symbolic and the intensely private events of a relationship. I like the other comment's take on this poem, although mine is a bit different. I see more darkness in the final stanza. If the speaker is still young, despite what he says (and lived with her) , I think he will leave her before much longer. This poem is moving towards his acceptance that his once beautiful love is no more-and what is he to do now? (Report) Reply

  • Eoin O; Flynn (6/4/2010 5:38:00 PM)

    I find this a difficult poem for many of my female friends who just do not grasp the deep deep gift of 'and gave up loving and lived with her' Just think of first gift 'a golden wedding ring'. Next that lovely image of the 'kiss'.warm, loving, at ease sexual companionship. Then the final gift which MUST be deeper, even more real than the other two. For me its that freedom giving sense of accepting and being accepted and recognition of each others faults, needs etc. Simply in some way being aware of the beauty of living together for now 43 years.I love the poem! (Report) Reply

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