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American poet Robert Bly has died at the age of 94

13/02/2021 7:44 AM
American poet Robert Bly has died at the age of 94

Award-winning American poet Robert Bly died on Sunday at the age of 94 in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune newspaper.

Bly published more than 25 collections of his own poetry and translated more than a dozen others. Over the course of his career he was awarded the National Book Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal and other honours.

Bly was born in Madison, Minnesota on December 23, 1926. After high school Bly joined the US Navy for two years, he then went on to study at St Olaf College before transferring to Harvard and later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop.

He later went on to study in Norway and began translating Norwegian poetry, and eventually went on to translate the works of American, Scandinavian, and European poets.

He was known for his antiwar activism and when he won the National Book Award in 1968 for his collection of poems ‘The Light Around the Body’ he donated the prize money to the antiwar movement.

The Star Tribune said Bly 'started out writing bucolic poems about rural Minnesota. He went on to shake up the complacent world of 1950s poetry, rail against war, bring international poets to Western readers and become a best-selling author helping men get in touch with their feelings.'

His first collection of poems, ‘Silence in the Snowy Fields’ was published in 1962 and his last book ‘Robert Bly: Collected Poems', was published in 2018.

He is survived by his second wife, children and grandchildren.