June 18, 2011

Waking From Sleep

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--Description: 21st C, Bly R., Humanity, Life--

Inside the veins there are navies setting forth,
Tiny explosions at the waterlines,
And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.

It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.
Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full
Of stiff dogs, and hands that clumsily held heavy books.

Now we wake, and rise from bed, and eat breakfast!
Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood,
Mist, and masts rising, the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.

Now we sing, and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.
Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;

Robert Bly

--Did You Know: (born December 23, 1926) Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement. Robert Bly was born in Minnesota to Jacob and Alice Bly, people of Norwegian ancestry. After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard University, joining the later famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, including Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, and John Hawkes. He graduated in 1950 and spent the next few years in New York. In 1956 he received a Fulbright Grant to travel to Norway and translate Norwegian poetry into English. While there he found not only his relatives, but the work of a number of major poets whose work was barely known in the United States, among them Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Antonio Machado, Gunnar Ekelof, Georg Trakl, Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Mirabai, and Harry Martinson. Bly determined then to start a literary magazine for poetry translation in the United States. The Fifties, The Sixties, and The Seventies, introduced many of these poets to the writers of his generation, and also published essays on American poets. During this time, Bly lived on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and children. His first marriage was to award-winning short story novelist Carol Bly. They had four children, including Mary J. Bly, a Literature Professor at Fordham University and also a best-selling novelist. Bly and Carol divorced in 1979; he has been married to the former Ruth Ray since 1980. He has a stepdaughter from his marriage to Ruth Bly. A stepson from the marriage died in a pedestrian-train incident while he attended private college in Minnesota. Suicide was suspected but never confirmed. Read more at: Robert Bly

--Poetry Terminology: Topographical poetry-
The poetic equivalent of landscape painting e.g. Pope's Windsor Forest or Gray's Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. A more modern example of the genre is Remains of Elmet by Ted Hughes which was a collaboration with the photographer Fay Godwin.

--Word of the Day: languor \LANG-guhr; LANG-uhr\, noun:
1. Mental or physical weariness or fatigue.
2. Listless indolence, especially the indolence of one who is satiated by a life of luxury or pleasure.
3. A heaviness or oppressive stillness of the air.
Example:
Without health life is not life, wrote Rabelais, "life is not livable. . . . Without health life is nothing but languor."
-Joseph Epstein, Narcissus Leaves the Pool

--Quote of the Day: The key to wisdom is this - constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.
-Peter Abelard

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