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Meditations on the Insatiable Soul: Poems Hardcover – December, 1994

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"I can live and die with no more/Fame," writes Bly who, in the nine years since his last poetry collection, has become a best-selling author (Iron John, LJ 11/15/90), TV celebrity, and guru of the men's movement. He needn't worry, since it's likely that this text will neither augment nor diminish his long-assured reputation as an influential postwar poet. Still drawing on the "granary of images"-bones, hawks, and black sun-and the rituals of dance and evocation reminiscent of his shamanistic early work, Bly offers oracular pronouncements ("Some ill-smelling, libidinous, worm-shouldered/Deep reaching desirousness rules the countryside") and sage advice ("Let heaven and earth go their ways"). In many respects the diction is Yeatsian, but it somehow lacks momentum; and though the motions Bly goes through are colorful, they are motions just the same. Intriguing moments aside, this work rarely rises above it precedents.
Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

The latest collection of poems by the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Iron John. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 83 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006055357X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060553579
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,402,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
*Meditations on the Insatiable Soul* is about a lot of things, among them anger against children, and meditations on Bly's own mother and father and funerals of people important to the poet. My favorite amongst these poems is "Gratitude to Old Teachers," one stanza of which reads, "When we stride or stroll across the frozen lake/We place our feet where they have never been./We walk upon the unwalked. But we are uneasy./Who is down there but our old teachers?"

A number of these poems feature Bly giving his appreciation to those who shaped him, mother and father and third parties all. There are also some political poems, but these are a minority, so I wouldn't call this a political collection, like Martin Espada's *The Republic of Poetry* is. Bly likes startling imagery and lines that are near-ranting to get your attention and break from the usual. I thought his use of language was good, but for me these poems don't soar. They're land-based animals, plodding walkers upon the earth, and they don't lift me up on the wings of language or imagery either one. That is, these poems don't inspire me, and when I read poems I'm looking to be inspired. Thus, three stars. A competent collection but not one that rises above other collections.
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