Robert Bly: The Man in the Black Coat Turns

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

The Man in the Black Coat Turns (1981) contains some of Bly's most personal and private poetry since Silence in the Snowy Fields, his first book, published almost twenty years earlier. These poems describe the end of the journey that Bly began in Silence – at the same time that he sets out on another new journey. This journey, however, is much more clearly defined than the earlier one: it is a specifically male journey (just as these poems are obsessed with “masculine consciousness”), and it is a journey clear in its knowledge of life advancing on, and turning to face, death. As Bly himself put it in the prefatory note to the poems from Black Coat that he included in his Selected Poems (…

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Davis, William V.. "The Man in the Black Coat Turns". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2001
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]