Silence in the Snowy Fields: Poems / Edition 1

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The poems of Robert Bly are rooted deep in the earth. Snow and sunshine, barns and cornfields and cars on the empty nighttime roads, abandoned Minnesota lakes and the mood of America now—these are his materials. He sees and talks clearly: he uses no rhetoric nor mannered striving for effect, but instead the simple statement that in nine lines can embody a mood, reveal a profound truth, illuminate in an important way the inward and hidden life. This is a poet of the modern world, thoroughly aware of the complexities of the moment but equally mindful of the great stream of life—all life—of which mankind is only a part.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Mr. Bly’s poems name delicate, humble things, and at the same time describe man assuming his existence, beginning over again the test of illusions. At the end of each poem there is silence, without complaint.” —Wallace Fowlie, New York Times Book Review

“Bly writes of silence, sleep, moonlight and snow in Minnesota . . . It is lively and beautiful. For what interests Bly in silence is the articulate quality of it, its creative noise”—John Logan, The Critic

“This is poetry which springs out of an uncommon vision of nature…The poems are frequently epiphanies of man-in-nature without any fuss.” —Thomas McGrath, National Guardian

“Bly has pared his images (most of them stemming from a life close to natural phenomena) down to the bone and used them with charm and ingenuousness.”—Beloit Poetry Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819510150
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1962
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 60
  • Sales rank: 1,121,723
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT BLY, poet, translator, editor, lives on a farm near Madison, Minnesota, in the region where he was born. He has been dedicated to poetry even before his student years at Harvard. Silence in the Snowy Fields, his first book of poetry, was published in 1962. His second, The Light Around the Body, won the 1968 National Book Award for poetry. Among several translations is Time Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado (Wesleyan 1983).

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Table of Contents

Three Kinds of Pleasures
Return to Solitude
Waking from Sleep
Hunting Pheasants in a Cornfield
Surprised by Evening
Thinking of Wallace Stevens on the First Snowy Day in December
Sunset at a Lake
Approaching Winter
Driving toward the Lac Qui Parle River
Poem in Three Parts
Poem against the Rich
Poem against the British
Where We Must Look for Help
Remembering in Oslo the Old Picture of the Magna Carta
Summer, 1960, Minnesota
With Pale Women in Maryland
Driving through Ohio
At the Funeral of Great-aunt Mary the Ferry Across the Chesapeake Bay
A Man Writes to a Part of Himself
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter
Getting Up Early
A Late Spring Day in My Life
Love Poem
“Taking the Hands”
Afternoon Sleep
Images Suggested by Medieval Music
Solitude Late at Night in the Woods
Watering the Horse
In a Train
After Working
The Clear Air of October
Laziness and Silence
September Night with an Old Horse
After Drinking All Night with a Friend, We Go Out in a Boat at Dawn to See Who Can Write the Best Poem
Late at Night during a Visit of Friends
Snowfall in the Afternoon

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