Robert Bly

Visiting the Teacher

I am the grandchild of Norwegian forgetters.
I am a nephew of those who stole the onions.
We all are guests at the criminal’s wedding.

Each time we pick up a fallen wren’s nest,
We sense despair and injustice, but we love to feel
The little crackling of the abandoned eggshells.

To drink a drop of water increases our thirst.
Black-and-white movies intensify our longing
That night will come and simply take over from day.

The shadowy cave we live in extends far out
Over the world. It’s dark there. Even Amundsen
And all his dogs couldn’t find the end of it.

Stars have set so often in the woods without
Bringing the Magi, that the badger drinks
Sadness each time his nose touches the water.

Last night I brought my grief to my teacher.
I asked him what he could do about it.
He said, “I thought you came because you liked me!”