Robert Bly Poem: Things to Think

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on June 28, 2012

This poem, Things to Think, was written by Robert Bly, a groundbreaking poet, editor, translator, storyteller, and father of what he has called “the expressive men’s movement.”

The last lines are particularly haunting and in the Five More Minutes With zeitgeist: Tell you you’re forgiven, Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, Or that it’s been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

 

Think in ways you’ve never thought before.

If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message

Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,

Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

 

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,

Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose

Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers

A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

 

When someone knocks on the door,

Think that he’s about

To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,

Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time,

Or that it’s been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

 

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