Waking from Sleep, by Robert Bly
Inside the veins there are navies setting forth,
Tiny explosions at the waterlines,
And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.
It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.
Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full
Of stiff dogs, and hands that clumsily held heavy books.
Now we wake, and rise from bed, and eat breakfast!
Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood,
Mist, and masts rising, the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.
Now we sing, and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.
Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;
We know that our master has left us for the day.
What poems I’ve read of Bly’s all have a common trait: deceptive simplicity. Our whole body is like a harbor at dawnn is just an incredible line, an incredible thought that conjures images I could sit back and enjoy for hours!
I can’t help but wonder, though, if Bly’s simplicity drew criticism back in his days at Harvard, among the likes of Adrienne Rich and John Ashbery, as well as a few other poet that can be considered contemporaries. Was the depth of his poetic images appreciated back then?
(By the way, truly awesome surname!)