Robert Elwood Bly (December 23, 1926 – November 21, 2021) was an American poet, essayist, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men's movement. His best-known prose book is Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), which spent 62 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, and is a...
The dark side of men is clear. Their mad exploitation of earth resources, devaluation and humiliation of women, and obsession with tribal warfare are undeniable. Genetic inheritance contributes to their obsessions, but also culture and environment. We have defective mythologies that ignore masculine depth of feeling, assign men a place in the sky instead of earth, teach obedience to the wrong powers, [and] work to keep men boys.
Starting over can be the scariest thing in the entire world, whether it's leaving a lover, a school, a team, a friend or anything else that feels like a core part of our identity but when your gut is telling you that something here isn't right or feels unsafe, I really want you to listen and trust in that voice.
When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.