For the Old Gnostics

By Robert Bly b. 1926 Robert Bly
The Fathers put their trust in the end of the world
And they were wrong.   The Gnostics were right and not
Right.   Dragons copulate with their knobby tails.
Some somnolent wealth rises unconcerned,
Over there!   In the world!   Ponderous stubborn
Sorrow weighs down the flying Gospels.
Some enormous obstacle blocks our way.
The untempered soul grumbles in empty light.

Robert Bly, "For the Old Gnostics" from My Sentence was a Thousand Years of Joy. Copyright © 2005 by Robert Bly.  Reprinted by permission of Robert Bly.

Source: Turkish Pears in August: Twenty Ramages (Midnight Paper Sales, 2005)

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Poet Robert Bly b. 1926

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Religion, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Robert  Bly


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 Religion, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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