Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected Poems, 1950-2011

Overview

“[Robert Bly] is . . . the most recent in a line of great American transcendentalist writers.”—New York Times
Selected from throughout Robert Bly’s monumental body of work from 1950 through the present, Stealing Sugar from the Castle represents the culmination of an astonishing career in American letters.
Bly has long been the voice of transcendentalism and meditative mysticism for his generation. Influenced by Emerson and Thoreau, inspired by spiritual traditions from Sufism to...

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Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected and New Poems, 1950--2013

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Overview

“[Robert Bly] is . . . the most recent in a line of great American transcendentalist writers.”—New York Times
Selected from throughout Robert Bly’s monumental body of work from 1950 through the present, Stealing Sugar from the Castle represents the culmination of an astonishing career in American letters.
Bly has long been the voice of transcendentalism and meditative mysticism for his generation. Influenced by Emerson and Thoreau, inspired by spiritual traditions from Sufism to Gnosticism, his vision is “oracular” (Antioch Review). From the rich, earthy simplicity of Silence in the Snowy Fields (1962) to the wild yet intricately formal ghazals of My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy (2005) and the striking richness and authority of Talking into the Ear of a Donkey (2011), Bly’s poetry is spiritual yet worldly, celebrating the uncanny beauty of the everyday. “I am happy, / The moon rising above the turkey sheds. // The small world of the car / Plunges through the deep fields of the night,” he writes in “Driving Toward the Lac Qui Parle River.” Here is a poet moved by the mysteries of the world around him, speaking the language of images in a voice brilliant and bold.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward Hirsch
“Here is the essential Robert Bly, ‘a man in love with the setting stars,’ a dark transcendentalist, a troublemaker, a mourner who keeps seeing the walls splashed with blood, a singer of boundless mysteries, imagination’s keeper, a witness to joy. He has been lighting up American poetry for more than sixty years.”
Starred Review Booklist
“[T]his selection indelibly presents Bly as the great successor to Whitman and Pound, with neither the smarmy bonhomie of the former or the captiousness of the latter…. His labor and delight, early and late, is now clearly shown to be the demonstration that all human and nonhuman lives, contexts, and relations are linked by metaphor, that odd mode of understanding by psychological projection and sensory imagination. Like the deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass, this collection is a monument, not to self but to us.”
Elizabeth Hoover - Star Tribune
“Playful, strange and simultaneously startling… Bly’s poetry prizes the imagination for its irrationality, which can take us to beautiful and unexpected places.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393240078
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 421,145
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bly is the author of numerous books of poetry, including The Light Around the Body, winner of the National Book Award, and Talking into the Ear of the Donkey. He is also the author of many works of nonfiction, including Iron John: A Book About Men, which was an international bestseller and a pioneering work in the men’s movement. His awards include the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. He lives in Minneapolis.

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