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I was watching Bill Moyers interview Poet Robert Bly this evening on WNET channel 13 in New York.
The topic was the Power of Poetry. http://www.pbs.org/...
During the interview a curious thing happened. Bly had just read one of his poems. He said that "It's a good poem, even for the United States right now."
Moyers asked "why?"
In the course of his answer Bly mentioned that'd be a good thing to say to Bush.

The television screen went black,"Thirteen" appeared on the screen and there was no audio.

Several seconds later the program resumed.

ROBERT BLYS POEM:
"I don't like it here. I want to go back. According to the old knowers, if you're absent from the one you love even for one second, that ruins the whole thing. There must be someone, just to find one sign of the other world in this town would be helpful." I feel that in Minneapolis.

"Just to find one sign of the other world in this town would be helpful. You know the great Chinese Saimer bird got caught in this net. What can I do? I'm only a wren. My desire-body, don't come strolling over this way. Sit where you are. It's a good place."

"When you want dessert, you choose something rich. When you choose wine, you look for what's clear and firm. What is the rest?" Talking about-- "What is the rest?" The rest is television. "What is the rest? The rest is mirages and blurry pictures and milk mixed with water. The rest is self-hatred and mocking other people and bombing. So, just be quiet and sit down. The reason is you're drunk. And this is the edge of the roof."

It's a good poem, even for the United States right now.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

ROBERT BLY: Um, look for what's clear and firm. "What is the rest? The rest is mirages and blurry pictures and milk mixed with water." That is the way to cheat in the old days. "The rest is self-hatred and mocking other people and bombing. So, just be quiet and sit down." That'd be a good thing to say to Bush.    
(The television screen went black,"Thirteen" appeared on the screen and there was no audio.)

The missing part:
Just be quiet and sit down. The reason is you're drunk. And this is the edge of the roof."

Several seconds later the program resumed.

_______________
BILL MOYERS: Your mature life has been bracketed by two wars, two long wars: Vietnam and Iraq. And you wrote poems against Iraq, and you wrote poems against Vietnam. And both of them went on.

ROBERT BLY: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: Poetry didn't stop the war.

ROBERT BLY: No, it's never been able to do anything of that sort. It merely speaks to the soul, so the soul can remember -- so it's quite proper to have all the poems against the war. And it's proper not to be disappointed if nothing changes.

Originally posted to fixxit on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  My guess (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, StrayCat, marykk

      is the broadcast flaked out. Ever since they went to digital all of the channels programming sputters or just disappears.  Sometimes it goes to a black screen and sometimes it sits on a screen with the station logo.  Because of HDTV, the program gets switched between analog and digital multiple times, sometimes the audio track drops out, sometimes the picture disappears.  I have noticed more stations just drop the programming if it starts to get out of sync.

    •  My guess (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01

      I'm thinking it must have been a fluke at your local PBS station.  The whole interview came through in my local market, including the reruns in the middle of the night.  Locally, we also get a rerun of the show (I think Sun. afternoon).  Check the web site for your local PBS station to see when the show airs and/or if there are reruns.

      Also, any time something like that happens where there's a momentary power outage, the complete videos and transcripts are online at the Moyers web site, so you can still see/read complete info from his shows.  Sign up for the newsletter and you'll get an email every Thursday with a brief description of the show coming up on Friday evening.

      "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

      by NonnyO on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 07:09:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  no, it didn't happen that way here (10+ / 0-)

    there was no pause, we saw and heard everything here in Southern Ca.

    Just be quiet and sit down. The reason is you're drunk. And this is the edge of the roof."

    He said this twice, and it was very powerful.

  •  Spokane received ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, willb48

    yes .. the Baraka descended here just fine.

  •  Robert Bly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancelot, Fabian, Rogneid

    Why doesn't Bill Moyers interview Leonard Cohen?

    Take This Waltz
     

     (After Lorca)

    Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.
    There's a shoulder where death comes to cry.
    There's a lobby with nine hundred windows.
    There's a tree where the doves go to die.
    There's a piece that was torn from the morning,
    and it hangs in the Gallery of Frost—
    Ay, ay ay ay
    Take this waltz, take this waltz,
    take this waltz with the clamp on its jaws.

    I want you, I want you, I want you
    on a chair with a dead magazine.
    In the cave at the tip of the lily,
    in some hallway where love's never been.
    On a bed where the moon has been sweating,
    in a cry filled with footsteps and sand—
    Ay, ay ay ay
    Take this waltz, take this waltz,
    take its broken waist in your hand.

    This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
    with its very own breath
    of brandy and death,
    dragging its tail in the sea.

    There's a concert hall in Vienna
    where your mouth had a thousand reviews.
    There's a bar where the boys have stopped talking,
    they've been sentenced to death by the blues.
    Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture
    with a garland of freshly cut tears?
    Ay, ay ay ay
    Take this waltz, take this waltz,
    take this waltz, it's been dying for years.

    There's an attic where children are playing,
    where I've got to lie down with you soon,
    in a dream of Hungarian lanterns,
    in the mist of some sweet afternoon.
    And I'll see what you've chained to your sorrow,
    all your sheep and your lilies of snow—
    Ay, ay ay ay
    Take this waltz, take this waltz
    with its "I'll never forget you, you know!"

    And I'll dance with you in Vienna,
    I'll be wearing a river's disguise.
    The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
    my mouth on the dew of your thighs.
    And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
    with the photographs there and the moss.
    And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty,
    my cheap violin and my cross.
    And you'll carry me down on your dancing
    to the pools that you lift on your wrist—
    O my love, O my love
    Take this waltz, take this waltz,
    it's yours now. It's all that there is.

    Leonard Cohen

    I have nothing against Robert Bly, except that he's danged boring; so was the interview.  

    •  Never heard the song (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nancelot

      but immediately knew it was Cohen by the end of the first verse.

      No more lies - IMPEACH!

      by Fabian on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 05:30:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe because he is Canadian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nancelot, willb48

      maybe because he doesn't do many interviews
      maybe because he keeps his political commentary to his poetry

      I don't know but I remembered these lines on 9/11
      They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
      for trying to change the system from within.
      I'm coming now
      I'm coming to reward them.
      First we take Manhattan then we take Berlin
                                             

      And these lines:

      I've seen the future, brother:
      it is murder.

      Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
      Won't be nothing
      Nothing you can measure anymore
      The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
      has crossed the threshold
      and it has overturned
      the order of the soul
      When they said REPENT REPENT
      I wonder what they meant
      When they said REPENT REPENT
      I wonder what they meant
      When they said REPENT REPENT
      I wonder what they meant

      The Future, Leonard Cohen, 1992

      From Robert Bly last night, I remember
      If you lie down, no one will die.
      And he did look profound when he said it.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 05:34:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, fixxit. (0+ / 0-)

    I know your purpose was to illuminate the apparent censorship, and I'm glad you did.

    But my thank you comes from a different place. Sometimes, when I'm heart and mind weary and need to stop a minute and let my sometimes chaotic brain find her bearings, like today, it feels good to "just be quiet and sit down." And breathe.

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