Monday, February 24, 2020



Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful when all the oats
 or wheat are gone, and wind has swept the rough floor clean. 
Standing inside, we see around us, coming in through the cracks 
between shrunken wall boards, bands or strips of sunlight. 
So in a poem about imprisonment, one sees a little light.
But how many birds have died trapped in these granaries. The bird,
 seeing the bands of light, flutters up the walls and falls back again and again. 
The way out is where the rats enter and leave; but the rat’s hole is low to the floor. 
Writers, be careful then by showing the sunlight on the walls not to promise 
the anxious and panicky blackbirds a way out!

I say to the reader, beware. Readers who love poems of light 
may sit hunched in the corner with nothing in their gizzards for four days,
 light failing, the eyes glazed. . . . They may end as a mound of feathers 
and a skull on the open boardwood floor . . .

~ Robert Bly
from What have I ever lost by dying?