The first part is remarkable for its tributes to poets James Wright, Kenneth Rexroth (in "Letter to James Wright"), Wallace Stevens (in "Wallace Stevens and Florence"), William Stafford (in "On the Oregon Coast" and "When William Stafford Died"), and non-poet Joseph Campbell (in "Honoring Sand")... My dear James, do you know that nothing has happened Since you died? When death came, you said, "I'll go there." - When William Stafford Died (pg. Forget the flower; learn to know the sand. 20) The second part follows a loose narrative involving the poet's father and mother. Knowing Bly's views on masculinity (more about that later), the death of his father is of obvious significance. That I am a son, And you are a mother, And that someone Has come between Us, so that we Forget What has saved us? Let the love between men and women be ground up And fed to talk shows! Let the father be hated! Let the son be hated! So the rage goes inward at last, It ends in doubt, in self-doubt, dyeing the hair, and love of celebrities. The rage comes to rest at last in the talk show late at night, When celebrities without anger or grief tell us that only the famous are good, only they live well. Let's just say that David and Jonah weren't the only ones who did not care... I didn't care for these poems... When David played The Song of Degrees On his lute, when he cried, "My bones call out From the depths," then we know He did not care. 72) When Jonah sat Shaded by the spindly Leaves of a gourd, Hot in the desert Sand, he didn't care, nor Did the worm who that night Chewed the stalk So that the gourd fell. Men wrong women, because a woman wants the two things Joined, but the man wants sawn boards, He wants roads diverging, and jackdaws flying, Heaven and earth parted. Women wrong men, Because the woman wants doves returning at dusk, Clothes folded, and giants sitting down at table. My brother said it was clear I could never be- Come a man, Would have to play with toys. The thirty-four-year-old mother Wants to reject the child still in the womb, And she asks Senators to pass laws to prevent that. 66) The first poem, "Men and Women" almost discouraged me from reading the collection altogether. 3) I guess what I'm trying to say is, I find it difficult to respect a poet who edits an anthology of "Poems for Men".
I loathed the concept put forth by The Maiden King, but never read it.
"My Father at Eighty-Five" comes from that section. My Father at Eighty-Five His large ears hear everything. If I do not wish to shame him, then why not love him?
I've read many of these poems again two times or more, and what strikes me is the brilliant use of line breaks, the enjambments that bring about double- or triple-meanings and subtle ambiguities of meaning.
Collected poems with sections, with arcs to them.
After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard and thereby joined the famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, which included Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, Harold Brodky, George Plimpton, and John Hawkes. He determined then to start a literary magazine for poetry translation in the United States and so begin The Fifties and The Sixties and The Seventies, which introduced many of these poets to the writers of his generation, and published as well essays on American poets and insults to those deserving. His work Iron John: A Book About Men is an international bestseller which has been translated into many languages. In the early 90s, with James Hillman and Michael Meade, he edited The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, an anthology of poems from the men's work.