Robert Bly

Robert Bly on Male Violence

[Note: The following is a transcript of an interview with Bly from the PBS program "No Safe Place: Violence Against Women" which aired March 27, 1998. Click here to visit PBS's companion web site for the program]

Q: What are the roots of male violence? Is it just a part of men's nature? A desire to maintain control? The absence of the father role model? Is it rooted in the patriarchy?

Robert Bly: "War is the Health of the State" (1991)

President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq is the greatest mistake ever made by an American president. Because the soul of the nation is still torn by the Vietnam War, the banking community is in desperate shape, research funds disappearing, schools being abandoned, the nation cannot afford this manic adventure, this inappropriate Good Friday of fireworks, this resolute walking off the cliff that "beetles o’er its brow into the sea."

Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 24, 1991

Robert Bly: "Acceptance of the National Book Award for Poetry" (1969)

I am uneasy at a ceremony emphasizing our current high state of culture. Cultural prizes, traditionally, put writers to sleep, and even the public. But we don't want to be asleep any more. Something has happened to me lately: every time I have glanced at a bookcase in the last few weeks, the books on killing of the Indians leap out into my hand. Reading a speech of Andrew Jackson's on the Indian question the other day--his Second Annual Message--I realized that he was the General Westmoreland of 1830. His speech was like an Administration speech today.