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Robert Bly: Harvard classmate to Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, George Plimpton and others

He‘s also well known for a leading figure in the “mythopoetic men’s movement”

  • Living at the End of Time
  • There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
  • And so much discontent at the end of day,
  • And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.
  • I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
  • Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
  • Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.
  • A handsome child is a gift from God,
  • And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
  • And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.
  • Some say we are living at the end of time,
  • But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
  • Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.
  • There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
  • Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
  • That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.
  • It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
  • Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
  • So much satisfaction when a train goes by.
  • A Month of Happiness
  • A blind horse stands among cherry trees.
  • And bones shine from cool earth.
  • The heart leaps
  • Almost up to the sky! But laments
  • And filaments pull us back into the dark.
  • Night takes us. But
  • A paw
  • Comes out of the dark
  • To light the road. I’ll be all right.
  • I follow my own fiery traces through the night. 
  • Waking from Sleep
  • Inside the veins there are navies setting forth
  • Tiny explosions at the water lines
  • And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.
  • It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.
  • Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full
  • Of stiff dogs and hands that clumsily held heavy books.
  • Now we wake and rise from bed and eat breakfast!—
  • Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood
  • Mist and masts rising the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.
  • Now we sing and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.
  • Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;
  • We know that our master has left us for the day.
Robert Bly

Robert Bly (b. 1926) is an American poet also well known for a leading figure in the “mythopoetic men’s movement,” a self-improvement program for men popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Winner of the 1968 National Book Award, Bly is a Minnesota native and attended Harvard University as a student, after transferring from St. Olaf College in his home state. He became classmates at Harvard with fellow poets and writers Donald Hall (with whom he formed a lifelong friendship), Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and George Plimpton. Bly’s poetry is characterized by simple diction and direct presentation of imagery.

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  • Living at the End of Time
  • There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
  • And so much discontent at the end of day,
  • And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.
  • I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
  • Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
  • Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.
  • A handsome child is a gift from God,
  • And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
  • And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.
  • Some say we are living at the end of time,
  • But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
  • Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.
  • There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
  • Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
  • That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.
  • It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
  • Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
  • So much satisfaction when a train goes by.
  • A Month of Happiness
  • A blind horse stands among cherry trees.
  • And bones shine from cool earth.
  • The heart leaps
  • Almost up to the sky! But laments
  • And filaments pull us back into the dark.
  • Night takes us. But
  • A paw
  • Comes out of the dark
  • To light the road. I’ll be all right.
  • I follow my own fiery traces through the night. 
  • Waking from Sleep
  • Inside the veins there are navies setting forth
  • Tiny explosions at the water lines
  • And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.
  • It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.
  • Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full
  • Of stiff dogs and hands that clumsily held heavy books.
  • Now we wake and rise from bed and eat breakfast!—
  • Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood
  • Mist and masts rising the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.
  • Now we sing and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.
  • Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;
  • We know that our master has left us for the day.
Robert Bly

Robert Bly (b. 1926) is an American poet also well known for a leading figure in the “mythopoetic men’s movement,” a self-improvement program for men popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Winner of the 1968 National Book Award, Bly is a Minnesota native and attended Harvard University as a student, after transferring from St. Olaf College in his home state. He became classmates at Harvard with fellow poets and writers Donald Hall (with whom he formed a lifelong friendship), Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and George Plimpton. Bly’s poetry is characterized by simple diction and direct presentation of imagery.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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