Think in ways you’ve never thought before.If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a messageLarger than anything you’ve ever heard,Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a mooseHas risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlersA child of your own whom you’ve never seen.When someone knocks on the door,Think that he’s aboutTo give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time,Or that it’s been decided that if you lie down no one will die.~ Robert Bly ~
I went to hear Robert Bly speak tonight, and felt, after listening to him read in his Minnesota accent, from his newest collection of poems, utterly vibrant. It was a little like touching the glass on an observation beehive, where the warmth from the thousand beating wings transfers instantly into the palm of your hand. Like that: warmth saturating my being, making me huger for more than I already have—more words, more knowledge, more courage, more poems.
Robert Bly said: “I asked William Stafford ‘how can you write a poem every morning?’ and Bill said, ‘Just lower your standards.’”
Then he said: “Start with anything—whatever happens, and write one every day.”