Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology share button
Robert Bly
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.26 (d)
Pages 560
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date August 1993
ISBN 9780060924201
Book ISBN 10 0060924209
About Book

Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade challenge the assumptions of our poetry-deprived society in this powerful collection of more than 400 deeply moving poems from renowned artists including Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Theodore Roethke, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore, Thomas Wolfe, Czeslaw Milosz, and Henry David Thoreau.


Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

It is hard not to criticize any anthology that is so bent on having a ``purpose.'' To subsume poems under a single theme is always risky, and to enroll them in a cause detracts from their artistic nature. The poets selected here--everyone from Hesiod to Yeats, Li Po to Dickinson--are first-rate, but for that very reason their work is multi-dimensional, thus hardly about, let alone ``for,'' men. The editors have organized the book into subjects such as ``Mother and Great Mother,'' war, father, ``Wildness'' and love. Their introductions to each section too often leap from the reality of men's feelings to abstractions, Jungian archetypes and myths. As advice for reading poems, their observation that ``for men depression is sometimes the entrance to the soul'' hardly seems helpful, and as psychology it comes close to the old masculine cliche that pain is good and one should suffer one's feelings stoically. But even if the anthology is all too manly, it contains many great poems which speak to us all regardless of sex. And, like the men's movement itself, the book bespeaks a genuine interest in overhauling conventional notions about what is masculine. Bly ( Iron John ) is a poet; Hillman ( Re-Visioning Psychology ) is a psychologist; Meade is a scholar of myth. $50,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)

Library Journal

This anthology, divided into 16 sections representing aspects of the rites of manhood, grows out of Bly and coeditor Michael Meade's presentations to men's support groups of storytelling and poetry. Contributing insightful introductions to each section, the editors select more than 300 Jungian-intuitive poems (more effectively heard aloud) by such writers as Lorca, Neruda, Ponge, Rilke, and Vallejo. These writers are receptive to the archetypal wisdom of the unconscious, ``that vision which is the ground of all initiations.'' Shopworn anthology pieces like ``Miniver Cheevy'' don't capture ``moments when we feel outside time, seized by a longing'' as effectively as works by unfamiliar authors (Olav H. Hauge, Gyula Illyes, Haki Madhubuti, Heinz Pasman), songs of primitive peoples, and dreamlike prose excerpts expressing the conflicting emotions that comprise a man's New Age identity.-- Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute