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Robert Bly

Robert Bly is the author of many books of poetry and translation. His recent collection is Talking into the Ear of a Donkey (Norton). He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Ruth.

Summer 2000

The Wagon and the Cliff

By Robert Bly

The pin fails, and the wagon goes over the cliff. The doctor steps out a moment and the boy dies. We might question Emerson about this moment. Please don’t imagine […]

Winter 1984

The Pillow

By Robert Bly

The bear in his heavy fur rises from the bed. The extravagant one he has left behind murmurs … Or is murmured … Words barely heard. Your face shines to […]

Winter 1984

The House

By Robert Bly

My father and I set up walls and roof. We set the joists, the floor plates, the two-by-fours, lifted the rafters on pulleys, roofed it. And his unsteady grief left […]

Winter 1984

Black Tree Trunks

By Robert Bly

I stand at the window, as the snow falls. It swirls around, almost blocking out the trees. The bark facing the storm goes entirely white. What faces us looks darker […]

Winter 1984

Ferns

By Robert Bly

It was among ferns I learned about eternity. Below your belly there is a curly place, ferns that hide deer, and I have learned to love the curve that the […]

Winter 1984

The Way He Turns

By Robert Bly

Once I loved you only a few minutes a day. Now it is smoke rising, the mushroom left by the birch, the horse’s forefoot, the way the minnow stirs silver […]

Spring 2013

Conflict

By Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly

From the Swedish   After a political argument or wrangle, I become lonesome. An empty chair opens out into the night sky. There is no way back. My friend leaves […]