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Robert Bly, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey
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Tomas Tranströmer
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Interview: Robert Bly
From the documentary No Safe Place: Violence Against Women, at the PBS site.
Robert Bly, American poet
Bly's official homepage.
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Robert Bly
photo © Jason Langer/Oral Archives

Robert Bly

Robert Bly was born on December 23, 1926, in Madison, Minnesota. He attended Harvard University and received his M.A. from the University of Iowa in 1956. As a poet, editor, and translator, Bly has had a profound impact on the shape of American poetry.

He is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2013); Talking into the Ear of a Donkey: Poems (2011); Reaching Out to the World: New and Selected Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2009); My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy (2006); The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (2001); Snowbanks North of the House (1999); Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1987); This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977); and The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award.

As the editor of the magazine The Sixties (begun as The Fifties), Bly introduced many unknown European and South American poets to an American audience. He is also the editor of numerous collections including (Beacon Press, 2007); Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems (2004); The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures (1995); Leaping Poetry (1975); The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: Poems for Men (1992); News of the Universe (1980); and A Poetry Reading Against the Vietnam War (1967). Among his many books of translations are Lorca and Jiminez: Selected Poems (Beacon Press, 1997); Machado's Times Alone: Selected Poems (1983); The Kabir Book (1977); Friends, You Drank Some Darkness: Three Swedish Poets—Martinson, Ekeloef, and Transtromer (1975); and Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems (1971).

Bly is also the author of a number of nonfiction books, including The Sibling Society (Addison-Wesley, 1996); The Spirit Boy and the Insatiable Soul (1994); Iron John: A Book about Men (1990); and Talking All Morning: Collected Conversations and Interviews (1980).

His honors include Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well as The Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America.

He lives on a farm in the western part of Minnesota with his wife and three children.

Poems by
Robert Bly

Two ramages for old masters [Silent in the moonlight]
Advice From the Geese
Poem for Andrew Marvell
The Greek Ships
The Sympathies of the Long Married
What Things Want

Translations by
Robert Bly

After a Death by Tomas Tranströmer
Black Stone Lying On A White Stone by César Vallejo
City That Does Not Sleep by Federico García Lorca
Gacela of the Dark Death by Federico García Lorca
Lullaby of the Onion by Miguel Hernández
Nothing But Death by Pablo Neruda
Outskirts by Tomas Tranströmer
The Snowfall Is So Silent by Miguel de Unamuno
To My Brother Miguel in memoriam by César Vallejo
Untitled [I talk to my inner lover] by Kabir

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