Robert Bly: This Tree Will Be Here For A Thousand Years

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

In his preface to This Tree Will Be Here for a Thousand Years (1979, 2nd edition, with a major revision, in 1992), Robert Bly relates the poems in this book to those in his first book, Silence in the Snowy Fields (1962). These “two books make one book”, Bly says, and both “try to achieve 'two presences'.” Bly explains what he means by this by saying that he has attempted to write poems “where the inner and outer merge without a seam”. This is clearly a variation on the Boehmean dichotomy so important to the lyrics of Silence, but in This Tree Bly defines his practice somewhat differently and in much greater detail. Each of the poems in This Tree, Bly says, “contains an instant . . . when I…

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Davis, William V.. "This Tree Will Be Here For A Thousand Years". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
[, accessed 26 November 2014.]