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The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology
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The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  680 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade challenge the assumptions of our poetry-deprived society in this powerful collection of more than 400 deeply moving poems from renowned artists including Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Theodore Roethke, Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore, Thomas Wolfe, Czeslaw Milosz, and Henry David Thoreau.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published August 4th 1993 by Harper Perennial (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,280)
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Nov 17, 2007 Phayvanh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: seekers
Shelves: reviews, poetry
This is one of my favorite all-time poetry anthologies. I picked it up at a discount bookstore in San Francisco, back when I was still a reader searching for the right books. And I swear, back when I was reading mostly fiction and memoir, and my depression was making nonsense of my writing, this book brought me back around to the redemption of poety, both as reader and writer, and I will be forever grateful.

Edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade, the anthology is divided into
Mark Pennington
Nov 29, 2012 Mark Pennington rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Trying to get men to talk about feelings is like an old cliche about plasma and a rock.

You'll never crack it, but it's fun trying.

Poems from the ancient past right up to modern times, all about men and their total inability to understand what the hell is going on around them without causing wars, injuring women or losing their souls to dark forces beyond their control.

Robert Bly is leader of the American Men's Movement, a kind of friendly response to feminism which encourages them to get in tou
Jon Stout
Nov 14, 2014 Jon Stout rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: men and women
Shelves: poetry
If there’s a Women’s Spirituality Group, there has to be a Men’s Group, and our mytho-poetic leader gave us the anthology assembled by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade. In the Foreword they say, “By calling it “Poems for Men” we don’t mean that this collection is not to be read by women; we would rejoice if women read it.”

The poets include women, such as Emily Dickenson and Sharon Olds; the new as well as the old, Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas; the east, Rumi and Li Po; the ancient, Cat
Daniel Petra
Mar 31, 2016 Daniel Petra rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly amazing collection of poems that is used in the Mythopoetic movement of which I am a member. it contains some of my favorite poems. It is about mostly "crazy wisdom" and "radical creativity" and total liberation. It is in the Mithopoethic movement that I discovered the natural and organic tools and processes that have guided me in writing Missing Links.
Reading these poems may change your life. It sure changed mine!
Go for it!
Jer El
Aug 20, 2010 Jer El rated it it was amazing
Words are often inadequate to convey certain experiences in life, which is why we invented poetry to try to express what in life is often a feeling, a knowing, or an encounter with soul.

This is one of the greatest anthologies I have seen, it is a wonderful resource for anyone. And, if you happen to be looking for poetry specifically for a male in your life - then my suggestion is you give this a look first.
Jul 28, 2009 Richard rated it it was amazing
Thematic poems, collected from sources old and new.
These poems speak toward aspiration and redemption, boldness and humour, loss and acceptance. An amazing work and a testimony to the value of poetry and the primacy of the spoken word. Read it aloud if you dare!
Feb 16, 2009 Anders rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful book of poetry made by men for men. Ladies, don't let that scare you ... It's great and inspirational reading
The Healing

I am not a mechanism; an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds deep to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
And patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
Long difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
Which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.
Aug 14, 2013 Kevin rated it it was amazing
The best book of poetry I ever read, as a young man seeking a masculine identity in a world unfriendly toward hearts and bones all too easily broken, no matter what. The editors and contributors to this anthology, some of whom I've had the pleasure to meet in person, and exchange thoughts, if only briefly, have read nearly everything germane to the themes they address. The poetry is arranged and organized by minds with big hearts and decades of writing accolades particular to their capacities as ...more
Apollo Gonzales
Nov 07, 2015 Apollo Gonzales rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
My copy of this book is tattered and torn, and filled with sand from accompanying me through hikes in the desert. Bly curates a beautiful collection of poems that wander from childhood love of one's father, to first nights with unforgettable women in our lives, to mourning the death of our parents. The collection was and remains a roadmap for discovery of poets as I get older, as I have moved from young wanderer to fatherhood.
Aug 13, 2013 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2013
An amazing anthology of poetry from a mix of traditions and cultures. A short list of included poets: Galway Kinnell, Rumi, Yeats, Bukowski, Lorca, Neruda, Rilke, Li Po, Dickinson, etc. With Robert Bly as one of the editors (along with a psychiatrist and a scholar of myth), the collection is very focused on men and male poets, though female poets are represented as well. It probably also includes too many of Bly's own poems. The collection is organized by subject matter around the different mood ...more
May 25, 2015 Johnny rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
As far as a collection of poems, there are some fantastic ones in here.

I don't dig the essays.

But the poems!
Aug 10, 2016 Brig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. I will not take time to say how awful. I think saying it was awful is probably enough.
May 31, 2016 Matiwose rated it it was amazing
currently reading, continually reading.
Apr 11, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-books
A companion of mine for about 20 years now, that I only recently read cover to cover. The book has had a pull on me since I got it as a gift, and I don't see myself parting with it going forward. There's something about it. I don't know.
Liz Shine
Sep 10, 2016 Liz Shine rated it really liked it
I bought this book at a Half Priced Books sale because I like the title and the Yeats poem it alludes to. I read each poem at least two times, then allowed myself to move on if the poem hadn't settled in or moved me. Reading this way reminded me that some poems just aren't for me and that's okay. When reading poems for my own enjoyment, I like to let some wash over me and not struggle needlessly. This way of reading makes the poems that moved me, that I penciled a heart in the margins of (so man ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Joshua rated it really liked it
A easily accessible anthology that will introduce you to a wide variety of poets and poetry. If you are looking for an anthology that you can pick up without having to spend hours searching for a gem, than this is the place to start. Full disclosure: I've listened to Robert Bly read poetry live and I trust his judgment so much that when I approach some of the more difficult poems found in Rag & Bone I'm always confident that if I stick it out I'll be rewarded. Happy Reading.
Malynda Alice
Dec 25, 2007 Malynda Alice rated it it was amazing
After casually drawing from this book for several years, I finally realized it is geared towards men. Shows how perceptive I am.
Compiled by Robert Bly, the anthology in theory addresses issues that face men. However, stocked with women authors and turning to such issues as war, denial, and self-discovery, it serves as a sounding board and source of comfort for just about anyone.
Jan 04, 2010 Asilenna rated it it was amazing
This book has been my friend for well over ten years, and it's usually next to my bed. I've taught many of the poems in this book...but each time I pick it up I seem to find a new great one. I can understand why it claims to be "Poems for Men" but that has not gotten in the way of my enjoyment of the poems.
Ornette Waite
Sep 13, 2012 Ornette Waite rated it it was amazing
To say that this book is massive would be an understatement, with regards to both the volume and quality of content. I've been reading a lot more poetry lately but this book is a cornerstone volume. Everything is beautifully selected and divided into sections with great introductions to each section.
Jessica Bang
Jan 29, 2015 Jessica Bang rated it liked it
A good selection of poetry and writing.
Sep 18, 2011 Gary rated it really liked it
Excellent compilation of poetry by Robert Bly and contemps. Arranged into sensible subsections. Includes works by Rumi, Rilke, Bly, Yeats, Antonio Machado, William Stafford... dealing with the life and experiences of men (but not exclusively).
Jun 19, 2012 Serena rated it really liked it
The sections "Father's Prayers For Sons and Daughters," "The House of Fathers and Titans," "Loving the Community and Work," "The Naivë Male," and "Loving the World Anyway" had the best selections of poems out of the entire anthology.
May 22, 2008 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is one of my favorite anthologies. I read it when I was just starting to read poetry, and discovered many authors I later explored further. The paperback feels luxurious because it's printed on thick, creamy pages with deckled edges.
Aug 04, 2013 April rated it it was amazing
My favorite anthology of poetry I've ever read. I found it on the side of the road in a "give away" pile. It says its poetry for men, so I was going to give it to a guy friend, but 5 yrs later and its still on my nightstand.
Jul 24, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best collections of poetry I have ever found. It's like an old friend. Sometimes I take it to bed and sleep with it in my arms. Because that's the kind of friend it is. A friend with benefits.
Aug 03, 2012 Bpaul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, most-lent-out
Regardless of the theme ("men's work"), this is a superb collection of poems and is, honest-to-god, on my "list of 3 books to take to a desert island" list.
Chambers Stevens
Aug 08, 2013 Chambers Stevens rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Growing up I never really liked poetry.
Turns out I was reading the wrong poems.
If you know a man who likes poetry this is a great gift.
Jul 09, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
A great poetry anthologhy. Covers many good poets and has some insightful comments and bits of non-poetry by poets as well.
Dec 06, 2007 S. rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
ooey gooey rich and chewy inside.
golden cakey tender flaky outside.
wrap the inside in the outside -
is it good? darn-tootin!
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Robert Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement.
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