Robert Bly: Silence in the Snowy Fields

(564 words)
  • William V. Davis (Baylor University )

Silence in the Snowy Fields (1962), Robert Bly's first book of poems, signaled a new beginning in American poetry and it immediately put Bly on the literary map. It remains his signature volume. The thematic “signature” in the forty-four lyric poems in Silence is Bly's blatant, insistent use of what has come to be called “deep images.” “Deep images,” according to Bly, are filled with “great spiritual energy”; they “leap” from one thing to another by “trusting the unconscious.” They are, therefore, images that – although they may initially seem “irrational” – include the intellect in their attempts to be psychologically accurate. As Bly explained in his essay “Recognizing the Image as a …

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Davis, William V.. "Silence in the Snowy Fields". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]