In this episode of The Archive Project, Robert Bly opens his talk with a reading of Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks,” a humorous poem that glorifies a pair of socks. He then reads the work of poet Jay Leeming, from his collection Dynamite on a China Plate. Afterwards, Bly reads his own poetry, commenting on the time period in which he wrote each piece and what his process was like. He highlights that much of his poetry is written at a lake in northern Minnesota, and major themes of his poetry include education and motivation: putting oneself in a positive, engaging, and challenging atmosphere in order to transform into someone who can make a difference in the world.
For a couple of years, I stayed in bed until I had written my poem for the day.”
“What’s the most beautiful word in the English language? I think maybe it’s ‘listen.’”
“When we stride or stroll across the frozen lake, we place our feet where they have never been. We walk upon the unwalked. But we are uneasy.”
Robert Bly is the author of more than 30 books of poetry, including The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award. He is also an editor, translator, and nonfiction writer. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Bly received a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Norway and translate Norwegian poetry into English. During his time as editor of the magazine The Sixties, he introduced many unknown European and South American poets to an American audience and because of this, is regarded by many to have had a profound impact on the shape of American poetry. 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.
Podcast (literary-arts-archive): Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |