Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy birthday Robert Bly!

One of my heroes, Robert Bly, celebrates his birthday today.

I have shared a few of my favorite poems of his here over the years. His translations of Kabir hold a special place. One poem closes with the lines:
Kabir says this: When the guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the guest that does all the work. Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
Bly also either influences or appears in some of my own writing. For example, The Scorecard, written in 2007:





The Scorecard

It's my father's fault.
answers to math questions in an instant
Cost accountant, meticulous rows of figures

kept score for the family card games
columns of names and numbers
tallied for the winners and players

diabetic diary, daily food intake
peanut butter toast, mashed potatoes
dog eared book, calories for each

so I'm at the festival
scribbling who spoke in order
what poem was read

can go back to 2004, 2002 even
words, images, scenes called forth
and the festivals come alive

Bly on the mound, Barks at bat,
Paul Winter on deck, early morning Rumi
the pitch, and it's a home run!



Originally posted to quiet poet here


Additional works of Robert Bly can be found in good bookstores or online at the Poetry Foundation