American Muse: Robert Bly


“Solitude Late at Night in the Woods”


The body is like a November birch facing the full moon

And reaching into the cold heavens.

In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,

Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!


My last walk in the trees has come. At dawn

I must return to the trapped fields,

To the obedient earth.

The trees shall be reaching all the winter.


It is a joy to walk in the bare woods.

The moonlight is not broken by the heavy leaves.

The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth,

Giving off the odor that partridges love.


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