Last updated: April 25, 2019
Topic: ArtPoetry
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Robert Bly Essay, Research Paper

Throughout the twentieth century, Robert Bly has provided a wealth of poesy on a

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broad assortment of subjects. Alongside his subjects, Robert Bly has besides developed

different stylistic methods to convey those ideas. Such subjects vary to this

twenty-four hours, covering with issues that have personally affected him, and besides those of

society in general. His poesy is a time-line pondering purdah, the Vietnam

War, nature, defeat and relationships among all kinds, conveyed non merely in

conventional stanzas, but in a signifier called “ prose ” poesy every bit good.

Lending and animating to many, the work of Robert Bly provides an

interesting take on American poesy. Robert Blys & # 8217 ; first aggregation of verse forms were

released in 1962, titled, Silence in the Snowy Fields. Divided into three

subdivisions: “ Eleven Poems of Solitude, ” “ Awakening, ” and

“ Silence on the Roads, ” all combine along with the rubric to research as

Richard P. Sugg provinces: “ human nature as twofold, dwelling of both the

witting and the unconscious. . . ” A verse form “ Return to Solitude ”

explores the witting and unconscious facets of human nature, associating a

desire to be in the purest, lone province ; one of inside the uterus.

“ Tax return to solitude ” apparently jumps between the witting and

unconscious province, all the piece conveying a longing for a more lone

being. The first stanza, portrays purdah via the imagination. “ It is a

moonlit, blowy dark. / The Moon has pushed out the Milky Way. ” Visualizing

these two lines invokes a sense of farness, a image of a individual, bright

Moon in the dark sky without any stars. “ Clouds are barely alive, and the

grass spring. / It is the hr of return. ” With the clouds barely alive,

or non-existent, the Moon is now explicitly entirely in the sky ; an obvious image

of purdah. “ It is the hr of return ” in consequence, makes the first

stanza a witting idea, since it is a statement, a bold declaration that is

consciously put Forth. The unconscious comes to play in the 2nd stanza.

“ We want to travel back, to return to the sea, ” communicates a sense of

hankering within the talker, about as if a true desire were being confessed.

The sea is so described: “ The sea of lone corridors / And halls of

wild darks, ” whose imagination portrays a birth canal, a corridor and besides a

hall where sexual intercourse, hence the “ wild darks ” would happen.

“ Explosions of heartache, / Diving into the sea of decease, ” correspond to a

sexual flood tide, but are understood by the talker as negative. By these events

happening, it is making a individual and hence finally the birth of him/her and

the inevitable loss of the pure, lone province. Hence the explosive flood tide is

labeled as dangerous and paired with an baleful image of “ Diving into the

sea of decease. ” The 3rd stanza ponders what would go on if the pure province

of purdah was of all time reached. “ What shall we happen when we return? / Friends

changed, houses moved, / Trees possibly, with new foliages. ” These images give

a sense of a renewed life, a different life with different friends and a

different place, and even possibly a greening in one & # 8217 ; s self, as conjured by

the new foliages on trees. Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s “ Return to Solitude ” is one of

the many verse forms within Silence in the Snowy Fields that conveys a double side to

humanity: the witting and unconscious, and besides explores purdah. Following

Silence in the Snowy Fields came the disruptive Vietnam War, where Robert Bly

took an unbelievable anti-war stance, seen non merely in his poesy but by his

frequent activism in protests and mass meetings. In 1967, Robert Bly published The

Light Around the Body, a three sectioned aggregation of poesy that leaped into

current issues. “ Asiatic Peace Offers Rejected without Publication ” is

such a verse form that portrays a different subject and a different methodological analysis in

conveying it to the surface. “ Asiatic Peace Offers Rejected without

Publication ” promotes a realisation sing world & # 8217 ; s misconception of

war, while doing a statement to ne’er bury the atrociousnesss that have already

occurred in the yesteryear. “ Men like Rusk are non work forces: / They are bombs waiting

to be loaded in a darkened airdock. ” Here Rusk and his chaps have lost all

their human qualities, thereby losing the ability to be compassionate and

apprehension. The talker so labels Rusk and his cohorts as bombs, the

incarnation of modern slaughter and devastation. “ Rusk & # 8217 ; s helpers eat

hastily, / speaking of Teilhard de Chardin, ” An interesting turn so

takes topographic point, with the talker presenting the thought that those prefering

devastation, claim to make it under a apparently baronial pretense and hence justify it

to themselves. The sarcasm follows in the imagination of the last line: “ They

get down the projector, and demo the film about the huffy pro-/fessor. ”

Coincidentally, those that are demoing the “ mad professor ” do non

recognize the fact that their desire for devastation, their justification for war

and bloodshed are in kernel loony and indefensible, similar to a lunatic & # 8217 ; s

motivations. Together, the first stanza sums up a misconception toward war ; the

simple dismissal of decease and the slaughter associated with war because in

person & # 8217 ; s eyes it is a merely and good war. Stanza two brings images of America & # 8217 ; s

ain similar atrociousnesss, and a call to retrieve them through vivid imagination.

“ Lost angels huddled on a dark subdivision: ” portray an image of those who

hold died, watching the consequent images base on balls. Images raising colonial

invasion upon native American lands, the westbound enlargement at the disbursal of

those indigens and lives of workers constructing the railway. All these deceases,

let go of the feeling of “ something inside us / Like a shade train in the

Rocky mountainss / About to be buried in snow! ” This feeling that the talker refers

to, this incarnation of hurting and desperation calls out, “ Its long hoot / Making

the bird of Minerva in the Douglas fir turn his caput ” inquiring a symbolic representation

of America, to take notice and recognize that what has happened in the yesteryear, is

what is happening with Rusk in Vietnam. “ Asiatic Peace Offers Rejected

without Publication ” and many other verse forms within Light Around the Body

showcase a development Robert Bly. The subjects have changed, with a old

concentration on purdah and the witting and unconscious being replaced by

political poesy showing personal positions toward society & # 8217 ; s way. His poesy has

changed in that it began to include direct mentions, specifically to Dean Rusk

and theologian Teilhard de Chardin. Throughout Silence in the Snowy Fields,

Robert Bly was consistent in non including particulars and ever advancing his

subject through imagination, instead than an incarnation of associations found in

specific character. Light Around the Body showcases these altering aspects of

Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s poesy and the beginning of his continued development as a poet. In

1979, Robert Bly published another aggregation of poesy, titled This Tree Will

Be Here For a Thousand Old ages. Considered a subsequence to Silence in the Snowy

William claude dukenfields, there are similarities in its return to similar elements such as nature,

but in this instance Robert Bly concentrates more on the relationship between adult male

and nature. As Sugg put it, This Tree Will be Here For a Thousand Old ages

“ affirms Bly & # 8217 ; s metaphysics refering the mutuality between the

single and the natural Torahs that sustain him. ” “ Black Pony Eating

Grass ” is a typical verse form showcasing such a relationship. The

mutuality between nature and adult male is portrayed within “ Black Pony

Eating Grass. ” The first lines invoke a sense of a whole, remarkable

relationship ; that everything is inter-related. “ Near me

a black and bushy

pony is eating grass, / that crunching is dark being ripped off from

twenty-four hours, ” gives a sense of disclosure. For dark and twenty-four hours to be ripped off from

each other portrays a scene where there are no differences, where nil is

contrasting and everything is one. There is no differing dark or twenty-four hours, it is

merely a wholesome being, therefore taging the beginning of the human & # 8211 ; nature

relationship. “ Our life is a house between two hills. ” The imagination

provided here supports a relationship between adult male and nature. Man & # 8217 ; s place, could

be placed in another context, but for it to be placed between hills makes it

seem like a normal portion of nature. “ Flowers stand unfastened on the communion table ”

go on this sense a natural relationship, since what is usually sacred texts

or tapers, alternatively lie flowers, a representation of nature. What usually is a

near relationship, that of world and faith, is in this instance shown by

nature, portraying a close relationship between nature and world. Stanza

three continues, “ In a few old ages we will decease, / yet the grass continues to

raise itself into the Equus caballus & # 8217 ; s dentitions, ” shows that adult male is simply a portion of

nature ; that adult male will decease, but the talker does non see that as tragic. Rather,

the talker portrays an image of the Equus caballus eating grass, portraying decease as

portion of a natural rhythm, therefore demoing the relationship between nature. A blunt

declaration of world & # 8217 ; s relationship with nature is defined in the last

lines: “ A star is besides a obstinate adult male & # 8211 ; / the Great Bear is seven old work forces

walking. ” Here the stars are being considered work forces, literally specifying a

relationship between nature and world. Throughout “ Black Pony Eating

Grass ” cases of a relationship between world and nature become

apparent, and are platitude within Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s This Tree Will Be Here For a

Thousand Old ages. Therefore Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s thematic involvements develop over clip, from an

involvement in the mind and purdah, to political poesy to relationships

between world and nature. 1981 saw the release of Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s The Man in

the Black Coat Turns where relationships were now taken to the personal degree.

Victoria Frenkel Harris, in The Incorporative Consciousness of Robert Bly provinces

“ The verse form of Coat tend to be less airy, more a record of life in the

day-to-day universe. . .The public adult male, for illustration, is at times viewed in Black Coat as

victim instead than villain, as one whose outwardness has developed in response

to cultural, familial, and historical demands. ” With this new degree of

geographic expedition, Robert Bly takes on a new stylistic alteration seen in a subdivision of his

book called “ prose poesy. ” “ Eleven O & # 8217 ; Clock at Night ” is an

illustration of Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s developing poetic gustatory sensation. “ Eleven O & # 8217 ; Clock at

Night ” introduces the talkers assorted defeats in his life and a sense

of hankering for an alternate life. It begins with the countless defeats in

the talker & # 8217 ; s life which build upon each other. “ I wrote down some ideas

on forfeit that other people had, but couldn & # 8217 ; t associate them to my ain

life. ” Here the talker admits failure, and begins his downward descent

into self-loathing. “ I wanted the mail to convey me some congratulations for my self-importance

to eat, and was disappointed. ” The talker searches for a manner to raise his

liquors, trusting person has written to him, but once more is disappointed.

Frustration once more is found, with merely $ 65 in his bank history, pending measures of

over a 1000. The talker & # 8217 ; s ain antipathy for his life is found in another

confession: “ There is no manner to get away from these. Many times in verse forms I

hold escaped & # 8211 ; from myself. ” Admiting his ain desire to go forth his existent

life, he does so through poesy, a testament to the fact that he yearns for an

alternate life. The talker so admits, “ Now more and more I long for what

I can non get away from. . . ” and returns to name solid truths that define

world as holding no solution, as missing a manner to acquire off from. The thematic

facet of “ Eleven O & # 8217 ; Clock at Night ” and its concentration on researching

the ego seem reminiscent of Silence in the Snowy Fields, yet stylistically

differ. “ Eleven O & # 8217 ; Clock at Night ” utilized a manner called “ prose

poesy. ” Robert Bly had antecedently experimented with this manner old to

the release of The Man in the Black Coat Turns, but had ne’er dedicated a full

subdivision of his aggregations to prose poesy. Ralph J. Mills Jr. nicely stated the

intent of prose poesy, “ it farther encourages the author to drift about

freely in his perceptual experiences by affording him infinite & # 8211 ; blocks of prose paragraphs –

where his consciousness can exert a flexibleness non constrained by jobs

of the line. ” Therefore with clip a new aspect of Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s altering poesy

becomes discovered. Robert Bly followed up in 1985 with Loving a Woman In Two

Worlds, another aggregation of verse forms which concentrated on inter-personal

relationships. Victoria Frenkel Harris adds “ . . .Bly feels to be

harmonious every bit good as between the masculine and feminine dimensions of an

integrated mind. ” Robert Bly & # 8217 ; s poem “ A Third Body ” explores

that part of mind between the male and female. “ A Third Body ”

portrays a relationship between two people characterized by a 3rd organic structure,

apparently the psychic manifestation of their love. “ . . .they do / non

long / at this minute to be older, or younger, nor born in any other state or

clip, or topographic point. . . ” show that they are content regardless of rubrics or

location. Noting this relationship is of import since “ Their breaths

together provender person whom we do / non cognize. ” The 3rd organic structure, the

manifestation of their love encompasses these feelings the adult male and adult female hold

for each other. Since the adult male and adult female & # 8217 ; s breath comes from within, this 3rd

organic structure is made up of all their heartfelt secrets and attentions, explicating why they

obey it and assure to love that organic structure. The concluding lines help give a wider sense

to this 3rd organic structure, “ as they breathe they feed person we do non cognize, /

person we know of, whom we have ne’er seen. ” This gives a sense that

everyone has a 3rd organic structure, since it is normally known, yet that 3rd organic structure

retains a sense of individualism, alone to every individual & # 8217 ; s relationship. In a

sense Robert Bly proposes that everyone knows and acknowledges the being of

this “ 3rd organic structure, ” this representation of a male & # 8211 ; female

relationship, but besides the fact that it is rather come-at-able by all. The thematic

geographic expedition between male and female relationships is another different attack

taken by Robert Bly, but the manner in “ A Third Body ” is besides

noteworthy. Here Robert Bly has abandoned the traditional structured, stanza by

stanza poesy, nor does he go on with his prose poesy. Alternatively Robert Bly

chooses to convey his thoughts through line poesy that sometimes is uncomplete.

This usage of puting certain phrases on a individual line brings about accent on

the peculiar words, giving a new sense to what is being portrayed. Robert Bly

ne’er ceases to experiment and develop his alone attack to poetry. Robert Bly

continues to be an active force in the universe of poesy and literature, whose

work has developed and changed over a period of clip. Get downing with assorted

geographic expeditions of the witting and unconscious, to political statements, to

better understanding relationships non merely with nature but with work forces and adult females,

Robert Bly has continuously explored new parts of poesy. Experimenting with

traditional, stanza based construction to wild “ prose poesy ” format, he

has to boot attempted different methods in conveying his thoughts. An

influential member of the literary universe, Robert Bly is a poet that genuinely

deserves acknowledgment.