News of the Universe
Poems of Twofold Consciousness
Paperback, 320 Pages
Acclaimed poet and translator Robert Bly, known most recently for gatherings in which he guides men to greater self-knowledge, has created a unique multicultural collection of 150 poems that demonstrate the union of spirit between the poet and the natural world. Their "twofold" nature celebrates inner and outer consciousness, the participation of the object in the poetic vision.
In this splendid anthology, Bly introduces the poems with extensive commentary to show society's changing attitudes toward nature - a movement away from anthropocentric assumptions fostered by Descartes, the church, imperial ambitions, and the rise of technology. Those beliefs held that human thought was the only sentient force in the universe and resulted in the subjugation of the natural world to the designs of the human intellect.
Starting with the works of Pope, Swift, Milton, and others representing the "old position," the volume proceeds to the poetry of Blake, Hölderlin, Rilke, Goethe, Keats, and on to the enlightened sensibilities of Rexroth, Levertov, Berry, and, among many others, Bly himself. Bly's translations of Goethe, Rilke, Neruda, Lorca, Jiménez, Nerval, and others provide cross-cultural examples.
The news this poetry brings is good news - of consciousness operating outside our own, all around us, and universally available to receptive spirits.
Robert Bly, poet and critic, is the author of many books, including the National Book Awardwinning Light Around the Body, as well as the popular Iron John. He is also known for his translations of the poetry of Pablo Neruda, Gunnar Ekelof, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Knut Hamsun, among others, and for his compelling, interpretive readings.