Robert Bly: The Light Around the Body

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

The Light Around the Body (1967), Robert Bly's second book of poems, could not be thematically more different from the “deep image” lyrics of his first book, Silence in the Snowy Fields (1962). A blatantly outspoken attack on the American involvement in the Vietnam War, Light names names and graphically describes and details man's inhumanity to man in war. The book shocked many readers. Surprisingly enough – but perhaps because it was clear that it would force people to think about political positions and actions – it won the National Book Award. Characteristically, Bly publicly donated his prize money to the draft resistance movement.

Bly took his theme and charted his direction in this book in …

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Davis, William V.. "The Light Around the Body". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]