Warning to The Reader by Robert Bly
…..Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful
when all the oats or wheat are gone, and wind has swept
the rough floor clean. Standing inside, we see around us,
coming in through the cracks between shrunken wall
boards, bands or strips of sunlight. So in a poem about
imprisonment, one sees a little light.
…..But how many birds have died trapped in these
granaries. The bird, seeing freedom in the light, flutters up
the walls and falls back again and again. The way out is
where the rats enter and leave; but the rat’s hole is low to
the floor. Writers, be careful then by showing the sunlight
on the walls not to promise the anxious and panicky
blackbirds a way out!
…..I say to the reader, beware. Readers who love poems of
light may sit hunched in the corner with nothing in their
gizzards for four days, light failing, the eyes glazed . . .
…..They may end as a mound of feathers and a skull on the
open boardwood floor . . .
I’d love to know your thoughts on this one.