Watering the Horse by Robert Bly

Robert Bly

Father’s Day and I miss my sons, so why not turn to that old Minnesota father-poet Robert Bly. Born in Madison, Minnesota, not far from my home town, he went to Harvard then swam in the deep end with the great American poets of his day.

He could find the spirit of life in birds and animals and in ancient cultures connected to the creatures of the earth. He went deep into recesses of the human psyche in search of what ails us and makes our hearts break even when we’re rich and at the mall all the time, with leisure time on our hands and opportunities for “enrichment” and “recreation” all around. He translated old stories and sagas from across the sea. I remember one time he said that the best thing we could do for our families would be to move the grandparents up from Florida.

Here’s a little Bly poem, in honor of a friend.

Watering the Horse

How strange to think of giving up all ambition!
Suddenly I see with such clear eyes
The white flake of snow
That has just fallen on the horse’s mane!

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