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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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POETRY

 

 

OUR NATIONAL TREASURE, ROBERT BLY

 

"Robert Bly's work Iron John: A Book about Men is an international bestseller which has been translated into many languages. His most recent book of poems is Talking Into The Ear Of A Donkey, published by W. W. Norton in 2011. He frequently does workshops for men with Robert Moore and others, and workshops for men and women with Marion Woodman. He and his wife Ruth, along with the storyteller Gioia Timpanelli, frequently conduct seminars on European fairy tales. In the early 90s, with James Hillman and Michael Meade, he edited The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, an anthology of poems from the men's work. Since then, he has edited The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford, and The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy, a collection of sacred poetry from many cultures.  Recent books of poetry include What Have I Ever Lost by Dying? Collected Prose Poems and Meditations on the Insatiable Soul, both published by Harper Collins. His second large prose book, The Sibling Society, published by Addison-Wesley in hardcover and Vintage in paperback, is the subject of nation-wide discussion. His collection, Morning Poems (Harper Collins), named for William Stafford's practice of writing a poem each morning, revisits the western Minnesota farm country of Bly's boyhood with marvelous wit and warmth. His new selected poems, Eating the Honey of Words, has recently appeared from Harper Flamingo, as well as his translations of Ghalib, The Lightning Should Have Fallen on Ghalib (with Sunil Dutta) from Ecco Press. He has also edited the prestigious Best American Poetry 1999 (Scribners)."

   


WHAT IS POSSIBLE


Honey tastes of wildflowers, out of which
The songs of bush-warblers come flying.

Their songs brought honey into the room,
And the bees were preserved in that honey.

I know of a deep well covered by grasses;
And I remember the womb I was in.

Silence flies up all at once in the form
Of a bird from a bush nearby.

It's possible the dead spend a lot of time
During the day in the nests of shy birds.

―Robert Bly


                                Grey-Sided Bush Warbler
J.G. Keulemans, 1881