Robert Bly. Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt

Robert Bly. Star Tribune photo by Jerry Holt

 
Poet Robert Bly's new collection, "Talking into the Ear of a Donkey," will be published in May by W.W.Norton. He'll launch the book at 7 p.m. May 9 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., as part of the Literary Witnesses poetry series. The free event will be co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center.
 
Bly is Minnesota's poet laureate and a National Book Award winner. He has devoted his life not only to writing his own poetry, but also to translating the work of other authors -- Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, and, more recently, Mideastern poets who write a certain form called ghazals.
 
Bly, 84, lives in Minneapolis. He is also known for his best-selling book on the men's movement, "Iron John." He received the McKnight Foundation's Distinguished Artist Award in 2000.
 
You can read a Star Tribune profile of Bly, and watch videos here. And, below,the title poem of his new collection.
 
 
TALKING INTO THE EAR OF A DONKEY
I have been talking into the ear of a donkey.
I have so much to say! And the donkey can’t wait
To feel my breath stirring the immense oats
Of his ears. “What has happened to the spring,”
I cry, “and our legs that were so joyful
in the bobblings of April?” “Oh never mind
About all that,” the donkey
Says. “Just take hold of my mane, so you
Can lift your lips closer to my hairy ears.”
 
(From Talking onto the Ear of a Donkey, W.W. Norton, ©2011, used by permission of the author).