Prayer for My Father

By Robert Bly b. 1926 Robert Bly
Your head is still
restless, rolling
east and west.
That body in you
insisting on living
is the old hawk
for whom the world
darkens.
If I am not
with you when you die,
that is just.

It is all right.
That part of you cleaned
my bones more
than once. But I
will meet you
in the young hawk
whom I see
inside both
you and me; he
will guide
you to the Lord of Night,
who will give you
the tenderness
you wanted here.

Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (October/November 1987).

 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 Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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