Broadsides: Robert Bly

Nobody really needs to be told that this man is an American poet. He is one of the few who has been able to support himself fully by his poetry. Born in Minnesota in 1926, he has written at least eleven books of poetry.  You may have enjoyed one of his seminars or, if you are a male, his drumming sessions.  This broadside of a prose poem “Twelve Roses”  is signed in ink and in perfect condition.   8 and 1/2″ X 14″   The color of the paper is a dark cream and not blue as shown here.)

The broadside reads:

A Bouquet of Ten Roses by Robert Bly
The Roses lift from the green strawberry-like leaves, whose edges are slightly notched, for the rose is also the plum, the apple, the strawberry, and the cherry.  The roses are reddish-orange, the color of a robin’s breast if it were silk.  I look down into the face of one rose: deep inside there are somber shades, what Tom Thumb experienced so low under chairs, in the carpet darkness…those unfolding swirls of gathering shadows, that eyes up near lamps do not see.  It is the calm fierceness in the aborigine’s eye, as he holds his spear polished by his own palm.  These inviting lamb-like falmers are also the moist curtains on the part of the woman she cannot see; and the cloud that opens, swarming and parting for Adonis…It is an opening seen by no one, only experienced later as rain.  And the rose is also the skin petals around the man’s stalk, the soft umber folds that enclose so much longing; and the tip shows violet, blind longing for company, knowing already of an intimacy the thunderstorm keeps as its secret, understood by the folds of purple curtain, whose edges drag the floor. AND in the center of the nine roses, whose doors are opening, there is one darker rose on a taller stem.  It is the rose of the tumbling waters, of the strumming at night, the color of the Ethiopian tumblers who put their heads below their feet on the Egyptian waterfront, wheeling all over the shore…This rose is the man sacrificed yesterday, the silent one wounded under the oak, the man whose dark foot needs to be healed.  He experiences the clumsy feeling that can only weep.  It is the girl who has gone down to the world below, disobeying her mother, in order to bring calm to the house, travelling alone…and the rose windows of Chartres, the umber moss on the stag’s antlers…

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