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Much of Bly’s 1973 book of poems “Sleepers Joining Hands” is concerned with this theme.In the context of the Vietnam War, a focus on the divine feminine was seen as urgent and necessary.Since 1980 Bly has been married to the former Ruth Counsell; by that marriage he had a stepdaughter and stepson, although the stepson died in a pedestrian–train incident.Bly's early collection of poems, Silence in the Snowy Fields, was published in 1962, and its plain, imagistic style had considerable influence on American verse of the next two decades.His first marriage was to award-winning short story novelist Carol Bly.They had four children, including Mary Bly —a best-selling novelist and Literature Professor at Fordham University as of 2011— and they divorced in 1979.In February 2008, Bly was named Minnesota's first poet laureate.
The university paid 5,000 from school funds and private donors.
Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926) is an American poet, essayist, activist, and leader of the mythopoetic men's movement.
His most commercially successful book to date was Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), Following graduation from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving two years. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard University, joining the later famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, including Donald Hall, Will Morgan, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Harold Brodkey, George Plimpton and John Hawkes.
The following year, he published "A Wrong Turning in American Poetry", an essay in which he argued that the vast majority of American poetry from 1917 to 1963 was lacking in soul and "inwardness" as a result of a focus on impersonality and an objectifying, intellectual view of the world that Bly believed was instigated by the Modernists and formed the aesthetic of most post-World War II American poetry.
He criticized the influence of American-born Modernists like Eliot, Pound, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams and argued that American poetry needed to model itself on the more inward-looking work of European and South American poets like Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Antonio Machado, and Rainer Maria Rilke.
His book The Night Abraham Called to the Stars was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award.