Robert Bly

Robert Bly at Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL

Robert Bly was born on December 23, 1926, in Madison, Minnesota. As an undergraduate, he attended Harvard University, and in 1956 he received an M.A. from the University of Iowa. As a poet, critic, translator, and publisher, Mr. Bly has been a leading force in the world of poetry for more than 50 years. He is well known for his 1990 book, Iron John, which explored myth and folklore in relation to the men's movement. In the 60's he was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam war and today he opposes the current war in Iraq as he so eloquently attests in his new book, The Insanity of Empire: A Book of Poems Against the Iraq War. His work has had a profound impact on the shape of American literature. He has authored more than thirty books of poetry, including The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (HarperCollins, 2001); Snowbanks North of the House (1999); What Have I Ever Lost by Dying?: Collected Prose Poems (1992); Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1987); Mirabai Versions (1984); This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977); and The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award.

Robert Bly

As poet, editor, translator, storyteller, and father of "the expressive men's movement," Bly remains one of the most controversial icons of the literary scene. Why does Robert Bly provoke such ardour in his readership? Psychologist Robert Moore believes that " Robert Bly will be recognized as the catalyst for a sweeping cultural revolution." And critic Charles Molesworth writes that Bly's significance lies in the fact that he "writes religious meditations for a public that is no longer ostensibly religious."

Find out for yourself, and listen to the reading given by Robert Bly at Unity Temple, in Oak Park, Illinois, on October 22, 2005.


 
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Technical Note: The lo-fi selections are encoded in 24Kbps mp3 format and should offer skip-free playback on a standard dial-up connection. The hi-fi selections are encoded in the ogg vorbis format (at 44Kbps) and may require an upgrade to your audio player. The latest version of Winamp is a good, free, and secure choice for updating your audio capabilities.

 
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1. Opening Remarks
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2. Introducing Robert Bly
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3. Readings from Pablo Neruda
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4. Poem: Ode to My Socks
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5. Poetics: Ode to My Socks
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6. Readings from Kabir Padavali
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7. Poetic Reflection
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8. Ecstatic Flute
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9. Reading from Antonio Machado
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10. Spanish Poets
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11. Two Poems
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12. Poem: A Third Body
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13. Segue
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14. Poem: The Pharaoh's Servant
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15. Poem: Words the Dreamer Spoke to My Father in Maine
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16. It's Already Too Late
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17. Poem: The Bridegroom
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18. Poem: Eating Blackberry Jam
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19. Poem for Teachers
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20. Poem: Wanting More Applause at a Conference
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21. Poem: Call and Answer
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22. Poem: Advice from the Geese
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23. Listening
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24. Poem: Pistachio Nut
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25. Poem: Stealing Sugar from the Castle
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26. The Dark One
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27. Conclusion
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  Charlie Rossiter Introducing Robert Bly
Charlie Rossiter Introducing Robert Bly
 
Robert Bly at the Podium
Robert Bly at the Podium
All photos by Sandra Wilcoxon
 

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