Waking from Sleep

By Robert Bly b. 1926 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.

Robert Bly, “Waking from Sleep” from Silence in the Snowy Fields (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1962). Copyright © 1962 by Robert Bly. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Selected Poems (1986)

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Poet Robert Bly b. 1926

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects The Body, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Robert  Bly

Biography

Since the 1960s, Robert Bly has written poetry that is nonacademic, based in the natural world, the visionary, and the realm of the irrational. As a poet, editor and translator, Bly has profoundly affected American verse, introducing many unknown European and South American poets to new readers. In addition to his poetic endeavors, he has gained attention for his theories on the roots of social problems, and his efforts to help . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT The Body, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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