* another world with robert bly

The Moose – Robert Bly

 

The Arctic moose drinks at the tundra’s edge,
swirling the watercress with his mouth.
How fresh the water is, the coolness of the far North.
A light wind moves through the deep firs.

 

* fir crying out loud *
* fir crying out loud *

Reading this week, I came across these two short lyrics by Robert Bly. I love how in the lyric above there is a sound repetition going on: “moose drinks” followed by the sounds of “swirling the watercress” and on into the next line in “fresh” and “coolness” – all of it a subtle surge of sound.

A similar sense of sound governs the poem below, but also with it is a bit of that Deep Image mojo Bly and others helped to perfect. With the aptness and pacing of a great tanka, the lyric goes from a note on nature to a more personal, inner note. The last line leveled me with its directness: after the tension created between the fanciful note on the herons and the speaker’s inner turmoil, the clarity suggested in the last line evokes “another world” indeed.

Herons – Robert Bly

After trailing their bony legs the herons dance
in their crystal house far up near the clouds.
I need you in sand, touching your hand I weep.
In another world I am clear and transparent.

***

Happy clearing!

Jose

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