Ninety poems by Robert Kelly. The poet writes: “Writing is the generosity of writing down whatever comes into your mind, in sequence, as true as you can, The diligence of working with that, in all the ways you can, to make it speak, to make it say more than you know. . . The patience to know that what the writing is saying is more important, always, than what you want to say. . . The moral discipline not to use the words to sell yourself or your ideas. The concentration to stay with the work under hand, stay inside it, thinking only with it and not beside it, letting all thinking and feeling come to focus in it, as it. The wisdom to know when you’re done. When it’s done.”
Kelly remains a true and original voice in American poetry. He is one of the few prolific writers whose every book is a welcome revelation.
Robert Kelly’s long project in verse, now filling nearly forty collections, has shown him to be a master of intellectual energy, kinetic power, and primal apprehension, with a range of interest and symbolic resonance as extensive and diverse as any contemporary poet’s. The poems in The Time of Voice are perhaps his most accessible to date, underscoring the familiar brilliance of mind and movement with a new depth of emotional understanding. This is writing that jumpstarts not only the cerebrum, nerves, and senses, but also the feeling heart: a poetry of key moments, necessary rituals, inevitable passages, recurrent beginnings and ends.
Robert Kelly knows that poetry is a struggle of the language to be more than itself, to mean more than language can normally say. Prose is logic; poetry is, at least partly, a shamanism. Kelly gets at the sense that there is something larger behind the everyday.
––New York Press