Saturday, June 10, 2023


Robert Bly's sentence of 'A Thousand Years of Joy'
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Minnesota poet Robert Bly says he it took him four years to write the poems in "My Sentence was a Thousand Years of Joy." (Photo by Ann Arbor, courtesy of HarperCollins )

St. Paul, Minn. — For the last few years, Minnesota poet Robert Bly has dedicated himself to exploring a poetic style developed in the Muslim world.

The ghazal (pronounced "guzzle" or "guh-ZAHL") is like the Japanese poetry form, haiku, in that it has a few simple rules about length and form. And like the haiku, it can deliver powerful ideas about the world around us.

Bly just published a new book of ghazals called "My Sentence was a Thousand Years of Joy." He says in a way, it's taken him 50 years to write the book.

Bly is probably best known as the father of what he has called "the expressive men's movement," which he espoused in his 1990 bestseller, "Iron John: A Book About Men." He also published works in opposition to the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

Bly discussed his new book, as well as his varied and colorful career, with Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr.

To listen to their interview, choose the audio link in the right column.