The renowned American poet and translator collects 150 poems—from across the globe and many eras—that demonstrate our changing relationship with nature.
In News of the Universe, Robert Bly has assembled a uniquely cross-cultural anthology of poems that, taken together, illuminate his vision of human history over the past several centuries. The book’s 150 poems span the globe from the 1700s to the present day: from the ecstatic Sufi poet Rumi to contemporary voices like Kenneth Rexroth, Denise Levertov, Charles Simic, and Mary Oliver.
In brilliant introductory essays, Bly uses these poems to traces our shifting attitudes toward the natural world. Beginning with what he calls the “Old Position” of 18th century intellectuals who saw human reason as separate and superior, he then follows the reemergent longing for connection expressed by the Romantics and American poets like Whitman and Dickinson. Bly’s translations of Neruda, Rilke, and others, along with superb examples of non-Western verse such as Inuit and Zuni songs, complete this far-reaching and provocative anthology.