Robert Bly reading in 2009 "Poetry Out Loud" in Minneapolis, MN
Appointed 1st Poet Laureate of Minnesota (2008-2011)
Poets meeting 1975 Boulder, CO
Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman,
Robert Bly, William Burroughs,
Lu Chi's Wen Fu translated by Sam Hamill (1987)
at Bly's 1988 Asilomar Retreats
Dürer's Melencolia I (1514)
Magic Square of Jupiter
Dürer's mother died 5-16-1514
Bill Moyers with Robert Bly
"A Gathering of Men" (1990)
Coleman Barks & Robert Bly
in Tehran (May 2006)
Tomas Tranströmer & Bly
in Stockholm, (March 2008)
Homage to Robert Bly
Poet Gail Clark warned me when going
to Robert Bly's poetry reading in 1988.
"Men adopt him as a father figure."
I have a good father & need no surrogate.
At his Asilomar Retreat, Bly made us
memorize Rumi quatrains & recite them
at Monterey College Poetry Reading;
scolded the women not reading on stage.
On my first walk with Bly at Asilomar,
told him of my studies of Melencolia;
He asked why numbers in Magic Square
of Jupiter are switched? I told him
that was the date Dürer's mother died
May 16, 1514. Bly said "I thought
I was the only one who knew that!"
We had both done our research.
Bly told us about Albert Szent-Györgyi
Nobel Laureate discovering Vitamin C,
who loved mentoring kids but none came;
I had mentor sage Paul Brunton in Vevey.
At his "Mythical Thinking Workshop"
in San Francisco (4-17-1988), none
of us guessed that the egg yolk
was symbolism for the Sun.
We also had to write a fairy tale
about a witch and old woman who helps
the hero. And just outside Fort Mason
I meet an old woman who exchanged
eight quarters for my Bus 7F home,
who cackled "I am a witch" and gave
candies to kids who tell her stories and
became little helpers around her house.
Read this story in Nina's "Journal Class".
A classmate Muriel Karr said "That was
Bly's homework we went to last week."
Nina said "You have written a fairy tale
but Peter met an old witch in real life!"
Such are experiences with Robert Bly who
welcomed me to his Stanford Workshop
and liked my poem "The Aha Moment".
Bly's poem "Courting Forgetfulness"
inspired my "Courting Remembrance".
Bly always has his pulse on the spirit
lucky am I to receive his many blessings!
Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 11-25-2021
Bly's The Light Around the Body
National Book Award (1967)
Bly donated $1,000 prize money
to draft resistance movement.
Rumi's Open Secret (1993)
Bly made us memorize four
quatrains from this book in
his Asilomar Retreat (1988)
Bly's Iron John (1990)
62 weeks NY Times best-sellers
Bly's translation of Hafez
Angels Knocking at the Tavern Door (2008) autographed copy