THE LIGHT AROUND THE BODY by Robert Bly

THE LIGHT AROUND THE BODY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A mysterious, radiant light does indeed flow ""around the body"" of these poems. Their subject-matter is the conflict between inner and outer worlds, between politics and society, and the fragmented meanings within these twin structures of American life. This split is not, however, described by logic or polemic; it is implied by beautiful, delicately-fractured imagery, in which disparate but subjectively related objects are juxtaposed in a marvelously airy and weightless space. A section on the war in Vietnam, for instance, is full of a cool rage (""Men like Rusk are not men:/ They are bombs waiting to be loaded in a darkened hangar""), but also with a genuine poetic sense of distance, time, war in the ages-long context of angers, wars, destructions. This strong mystic strain provides the unity and tone which lifts these poems past objects or merely personal statement, into a shining and self-contained strength: a sense of exhilaration, of joy and anger transcending words, using words as mere building blocks to create a directly emotional world. The second book by a highly individual and striking poet.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row