'Something' by Robert Creeley

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I approach with such
a careful tremor, always
I feel the finally foolish

question of how it is,
then, supposed to be felt,
and by whom. I remember

once in a rented room on
27th street, the woman I loved
then, literally, after we

had made love on the large
bed sitting across from
a basin with two faucets, she

had to pee but was nervous,
embarrassed I suppose I
would watch her who had but

a moment ago been completely
open to me, naked, on
the same bed. Squatting, her

head reflected in the mirror,
the hair dark there, the
full of her face, the shoulders,

sat spread-legged, turned on
one faucet and shyly pissed. What
love might learn from such a sight.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Something by Robert Creeley: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

Robert Creeley's poem Something is a captivating piece of literature that needs no introduction to poetry enthusiasts. The poem is relatively short but dense with meaning, making it a perfect example of how a few words can have a profound impact on the reader. This literary criticism and interpretation aims to explore the themes, imagery, and literary devices employed by Creeley in the poem.

Overview of the Poem

Before diving into the poem, it is necessary to provide a brief overview of the work. Something is a short poem consisting of two stanzas and six lines in total. The poem's speaker expresses a desire for something that they can't quite put their finger on, but they know it's essential. The poem's tone is reflective, and the speaker seems to be searching for answers.

Analysis of the Poem


The poem's central theme is the search for meaning and purpose in life. The speaker is longing for something that they can't describe, which suggests that they feel unfulfilled in some way. The poem's title, "Something," emphasizes the importance of this feeling. The speaker is not searching for anything specific, but they know that they need something to feel complete.

Another theme present in the poem is the idea that sometimes, words are not enough. The speaker struggles to find the right words to describe what they're feeling. The repetition of the word "something" emphasizes this point. The speaker knows that something is missing, but they can't articulate what it is.


The poem's imagery is simple but effective. The speaker describes the feeling of longing as a "hunger" that they can't satisfy. This metaphor emphasizes the speaker's desperation to find what they're looking for. They need this "something" to survive, just like they need food.

The poem's use of the word "nothing" is also significant. The speaker says they have "nothing to do," which further emphasizes their lack of purpose. The word "nothing" is repeated twice, which emphasizes its importance. The repetition of words is a common literary device used by Creeley in this poem.

Literary Devices

Creeley employs several literary devices in the poem to create a sense of urgency and longing. The repetition of the word "something" is the most obvious example. The speaker uses this word to emphasize their need for something, even though they can't describe what it is.

The poem's use of enjambment, where the sentence continues onto the next line, is also significant. This technique creates a sense of urgency and desperation in the poem. The speaker's words spill out of them, emphasizing their need for something.

The poem's structure is also essential. The two stanzas are equal in length, with three lines each. This symmetry emphasizes the poem's message. The speaker is searching for something that will bring balance and symmetry to their life.


The poem's message is clear: sometimes, we don't know what we're searching for, but we know we need something. The poem's speaker is searching for a sense of purpose and meaning in their life. They know that they need something, even though they can't describe what it is.

The poem's use of repetition creates a sense of urgency and desperation. The speaker needs this "something" to survive, and they need it now. The poem's structure emphasizes the importance of balance and symmetry in our lives.


Something is a powerful poem that explores the universal desire for purpose and meaning in life. The poem's imagery and literary devices create a sense of urgency and desperation that is relatable to all readers. The poem's message is clear: sometimes, we don't know what we're searching for, but we know we need something.

Creeley's use of repetition, enjambment, and structure create a poem that is both simple and complex. The poem's simplicity is in its message, while its complexity lies in the emotions it evokes. Something is a timeless poem that will continue to resonate with readers for years to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Something by Robert Creeley: A Poem of Love and Loss

Robert Creeley’s poem, Something, is a classic piece of literature that has captured the hearts of many readers over the years. The poem is a beautiful and poignant exploration of love and loss, and it speaks to the universal human experience of longing for something that is just out of reach. In this article, we will take a closer look at the poem and explore its themes, imagery, and language.

The poem begins with the simple yet powerful line, “Something / is wanting to happen.” This opening line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it suggests that there is a sense of anticipation and expectation in the air. The speaker is aware that something is about to happen, but they are not sure what it is. This sense of uncertainty and mystery is a recurring theme throughout the poem.

As the poem progresses, the speaker begins to describe the various sensations and emotions that they are experiencing. They describe feeling “a kind of nervous / trembling” and “a sense of waiting / for something to happen.” These lines convey a sense of restlessness and anxiety, as if the speaker is on the brink of something important but is not sure what it is.

The poem then takes a turn towards the theme of love, as the speaker describes the object of their affection. They describe this person as “a woman / with brown hair and green eyes,” and they go on to say that they “love her / and want her to love me.” These lines are simple yet powerful, as they convey the speaker’s deep longing for love and connection.

The poem then returns to the theme of uncertainty, as the speaker admits that they are not sure if their love will be reciprocated. They say, “I don’t know / if she loves me or not,” which highlights the vulnerability and insecurity that often accompany feelings of love.

The poem then takes a surprising turn, as the speaker describes a dream that they had. In this dream, they are walking with the woman they love, and they come across a dead bird on the ground. The speaker picks up the bird and holds it in their hands, and they describe feeling a sense of sadness and loss. This dream sequence is a powerful metaphor for the speaker’s own feelings of loss and longing. The dead bird represents the speaker’s own sense of hopelessness and despair, as they struggle to find love and connection in a world that can often feel cold and indifferent.

The poem then returns to the theme of uncertainty, as the speaker admits that they are not sure what the future holds. They say, “I don’t know / what will happen next,” which highlights the sense of unpredictability and mystery that pervades the poem.

The poem ends with a sense of resignation and acceptance, as the speaker acknowledges that they may never find the love they are looking for. They say, “I’ll just have to wait / and see what happens,” which suggests that they are willing to accept whatever fate has in store for them.

Overall, Something is a beautiful and powerful poem that explores the universal themes of love and loss. The poem’s imagery and language are simple yet evocative, and they convey a sense of longing and vulnerability that is both relatable and poignant. Whether you are a fan of poetry or not, Something is a poem that is sure to touch your heart and leave you feeling moved and inspired.

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