Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems

Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems

by Robert Bly
     
 

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A Brilliant Collection Spanning Half A Century, From One Of America's Most Prominent And Powerful Poets

Robert Bly has had many roles in his illustrious career. He is a chronicler and mentor of young poets, was a leader of the antiwar movement, founded the men's movement, and wrote the bestselling book Iron John, which brought the men's movement to the

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Overview

A Brilliant Collection Spanning Half A Century, From One Of America's Most Prominent And Powerful Poets

Robert Bly has had many roles in his illustrious career. He is a chronicler and mentor of young poets, was a leader of the antiwar movement, founded the men's movement, and wrote the bestselling book Iron John, which brought the men's movement to the attention of the world. Throughout these activities, Bly has continued to deepen his own poetry, a vigorous voice in a period of more academic wordsmiths. Here he presents his favorite poems of the last decades-timeless classics from Silence in the Snowy Fields, The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and Loving a Woman in Two Worlds. A complete section of marelous new poems rounds out this collection, which offers a chance to reread, in a fresh setting, a lifetime of work dedicated to fresh perspectives. It is a brilliant collection that confirms Bly's role as one of America's preeminent poets writing today.

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Editorial Reviews

New Age
[A] delightfully diverse collection.
Wall Street Journal
Robert Bly's Eating the Honey of Words has a hearty, booming funk.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Bly, like other giants of poetic activism . . . has not been content to merely live his times. He has actively challenged them, and his muse, far from abandoning him, has stood steadfastly . . . at his side.
Dragonsmoke
It's impossible to move through this rich and varied collection without continual amazement at the many ways Bly has fulfilled his promise of faithfulness to spiritual and psychological depth in his poetry. In his half-century of abundance, Bly has proven one of our hardest-working poets, and the bundle of poems brilliantly assembled here constitute the vital core of his work.
Library Journal
At 73, Bly continues a long career given, like that of fellow poet Robert Francis, "to seeing what is far away." A guide to concealed spiritual powers and champion of activist movements (the anti-Vietnam War movement, the men's movement), Bly may want "To sit here,/ Take no part, be called away by wind," but he embraces numerous roles: editing off-beat anthologies and books, translating international poets, and writing poetry that seeks to be receptive to the primitive and the sophisticated, the "wild" and the ingenious. Collecting over 200 poems from 1950 to 1998, this volume is an appealing poetic sampler, although the ten new poems are unexciting. The poems celebrating discoveries Bly makes when alone and silent are always striking, and his imaginative prose poems radiate witty delight. This selection shouldn't be confused with a true representation of the full body of Bly's work, but it is useful for libraries needing a readable overview of 50 years of thought-provoking poetry.--Frank Allen, Northampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060930691
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2000
Series:
Harper Perennial Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,155,080
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Read an Excerpt

Eating the Honey of Words
New and Selected Poems

My Wife's Painting

I

I walk on a gravel path through cut-over
Woods. November's bare light has arrived.
I come at dusk
Where, sheltered by poplars, a low pond lies.
The sun abandons the sky, speaking through cold
leaves.

2

This Tang painting is called The Six Philosophers.
Five Chinamen talk in the open-walled house,
Exchanging poems. Only one is outdoors, looking over
The cliff, being approached from below by rolling
mists.

3

A deer comes down the bare slope toward me,
Sees me, turns away, back up the hill
Into the lone trees.
It is a doe out in the cold and air alone.
It is the woman turned away from the philosopher's
house.

4

It's an old, long story. After Heraclitus dies,
The males sink down to a-pathy,
To not-suffering.
When you shout at them, they don't reply.
They turn their face toward the crib wall, and die.

5

My wife showed me yesterday her new
Painting. One bird of hers, a lively one,
Had come.
It was a large bird with big feet,
And stubby wings, arrows lightly stuck in the arms.

Eating the Honey of Words
New and Selected Poems
. Copyright © by Robert Bly. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Robert Bly's books of poetry include The Night Abraham Called to the Stars and My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy. His awards include the National Book Award for poetry and two Guggenheims. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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