Reflections by Jerry Webber

Monday, January 23, 2012

For the Sake of Your Soul

Robert Bly is one of my favorite contemporary poets. He writes from the deep place of soul and soul-consciousness. Several of his poems are among my favorites. Over the last couple of months I have regularly read his poem (which I may post later), "When William Stafford Died." It is about the power of affection and passion, and the willingness to live the life one has been given. It challenges me to live the only life that is authentically mine to live.

Then this evening I heard this Bly poem read, and in the few hours since have read it myself another 10 - 12 times. Try it on for yourself.

One Source of Bad Information
by Robert Bly

There’s a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn’t learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years. Sometimes it’s a girl.

This child had to make up its mind
How to save you from death. He said things like:
“Stay home. Avoid elevators. Eat only elk.”

You live with this child but you don’t know it.
You are in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night. He’s uninformed, but he does want

To save your life. And he has. Because of this boy
You survived a lot. He’s got six big ideas.
Five don’t work. Right now he’s repeating them to you.

[Robert Bly, Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems.]

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