Driving toward the Lac Qui Parle River

By Robert Bly b. 1926 Robert Bly
I
I am driving; it is dusk; Minnesota.
The stubble field catches the last growth of sun.   
The soybeans are breathing on all sides.
Old men are sitting before their houses on car seats   
In the small towns. I am happy,
The moon rising above the turkey sheds.

    II
The small world of the car
Plunges through the deep fields of the night,   
On the road from Willmar to Milan.   
This solitude covered with iron
Moves through the fields of night
Penetrated by the noise of crickets.

    III
Nearly to Milan, suddenly a small bridge,
And water kneeling in the moonlight.
In small towns the houses are built right on the ground;   
The lamplight falls on all fours on the grass.
When I reach the river, the full moon covers it.   
A few people are talking, low, in a boat.

Robert Bly, “Driving toward the Lac Qui Parle River” 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 Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

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 Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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