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I saw a wonderful documentary film the other day, titled Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy, about which more later.  This is one of his poems which he read.

Call and Answer
Robert Bly, August 2002

Tell me why we don’t lift our voices these days
And cry over what is happening.  Have you noticed
The plans are made for Iraq and the ice cap is melting?

I say to myself: “Go on, cry. What’s the sense
Of being and adult and having no voice? Cry Out!
See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!”

We will have to call especially loud to reach
Our angels, who are hard of hearing; they are hiding
In the jugs of silence filled during our wars.

Have we agreed to so many wars that we can’t
Escape from our silence? If we don’t lift our voices, we allow
Others (who are ourselves) to rob the house.

How come we’ve listened to the great criers — Neruda,
Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass–and now
We’re as silent as sparrows in little bushes?

Some masters say our life lasts only seven days.
Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?
Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come.


Books Bly Thousand Years of Joy