Robert Bly

(b. 1926)

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Minnesota-born poet, whose first volume, Silence in the Snowy Fields (1962), contains spare poems of the native farm scene in which he continues to live, direct but also marked by striking imagery. The poems in The Light Around the Body (1967) differ in that some are more mystical, others more political in his intense hatred of the Vietnam War. The work was selected for a National Book Award, and Bly gave the prize money to an antidraft organization. Later poems, some prose poems, appear in Sleepers Joining Hands (1973), Old Man Rubbing His Eyes (1975), The Morning Glory (1975), This Body Is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977), This Tree Will Be Here for a Thousand Years (1979), The Man in the Black Coat Turns (1981), and A Man Loves a Woman in Both Worlds (1983). He has also translated some fiction of Selma Lagerlöf and of Knut Hamsun, as well as poetry from German, Spanish, and Swedish, including that of Trakl, Neruda, and Lorca, who have influenced him. His periodical, originally The Fifties, which changes its title with each decade, has printed some of these authors, as well as Americans. Leaping Poetry (1975) is a critical work.

Subjects: Literature.

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