Robert Bly


Quotations

  • ''There is a privacy I love in this snowy night.
    Driving around, I will waste more time.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, critic, translator, editor. Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter (l. 4-5). . . Contemporary American Poetry. A. Poulin, Jr., ed. (4th ed., 1985) Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • ''Every modern male has, lying at the bottom of his psyche, a large, primitive being covered with hair down to his feet. Making contact with this Wild Man is the step the Eighties male or the Nineties male has yet to take. That bucketing-out process has yet to begin in our contemporary culture.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, author. Iron John, ch. 1, "Finding Iron John," (1990).
  • ''During the fifties, for example, the American character appeared with some consistency that became a model of manhood adopted by many men: the Fifties male. He got to work early, labored responsibly, supported his wife and children and admired discipline. Reagan is a sort of mummified version of this dogged type. This sort of man didn't see women's souls well, but he appreciated their bodies; and his view of culture and America's part in it was boyish and optimistic. Many of his qualities were strong and positive, but underneath the charm and bluff there was, and there remains, much isolation, deprivation, and passivity. Unless he has an enemy, he isn't sure that he is alive. The Fifties man was supposed to like football, be aggressive, stick up for the United States, never cry, and always provide.... During the sixties, another sort of man appeared. The waste and violence of the Vietnam war made men question whether they knew what an adult male really was. If manhood meant Vietnam, did they want any part of it? Meanwhile, the feminist movement encouraged men to actually look at women, forcing them to become conscious of concerns and sufferings that the Fifties male labored to avoid.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. author, poet. Iron John: A Book About Men, ch. 1, Addison-Wesley (1990).
  • ''sympathy
    he longed for, didn't need, and wouldn't accept.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, critic, translator, editor. My Father's Wedding (l. 48-49). . . Selected Poems of Robert Bly. (1986) HarperCollins.
  • ''Some men live with an invisible limp,
    stagger, or drag
    a leg. Their sons are often angry.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, critic, translator, editor. My Father's Wedding (l. 7-9). . . Selected Poems of Robert Bly. (1986) HarperCollins.
  • ''If a man, cautious,
    hides his limp,
    Somebody has to limp it! Things
    do it; the surroundings limp.
    House walls get scars,
    the car breaks down; matter, in drudgery, takes it up.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, critic, translator, editor. My Father's Wedding (l. 25-30). . . Selected Poems of Robert Bly. (1986) HarperCollins.
  • ''Now we sing, and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.
    Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;
    We know that our master has left us for the day.''
    Robert Bly (b. 1926), U.S. poet, critic, translator, editor. Waking from Sleep (l. 10-12). . . Selected Poems of Robert Bly. (1986) HarperCollins.

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