Robert Bly: A Lifetime in Poetry

Richard Tillinghast at The Hudson Review:

There are at least four Robert Blys. One is the poet of pure lyrics like the ones I have quoted. Then there is Bly the political poet of the Vietnam War years. After his political and antiwar poetry, Bly turned to the self-help or human potential movement. His book Iron John: A Book about Men, was a best seller, and Bly became a guru of the men’s movement. And there is at least one more Bly: the polemicist. After service in the Navy, graduation from Harvard and Iowa and a few years in New York, Bly settled in rural Minnesota where, in the tradition of poets who used their magazines to advance their views, like T. S. Eliot with The Criterion and John Crowe Ransom with the Kenyon Review, he edited his fiercely polemical magazine, The Fifties (later, predictably enough, The Sixties and The Seventies). Warmly loyal to his friends, Bly was also ready to attack, sometimes viciously, those whose approach to poetry did not agree with his.

more here.