I
I am driving; it is dusk; Minnesota.
The stubble field catches the last growth of sun.   
The soybeans are breathing on all sides.
Old men are sitting before their houses on car seats   
In the small towns. I am happy,
The moon rising above the turkey sheds.

    II
The small world of the car
Plunges through the deep fields of the night,   
On the road from Willmar to Milan.   
This solitude covered with iron
Moves through the fields of night
Penetrated by the noise of crickets.

    III
Nearly to Milan, suddenly a small bridge,
And water kneeling in the moonlight.
In small towns the houses are built right on the ground;   
The lamplight falls on all fours on the grass.
When I reach the river, the full moon covers it.   
A few people are talking, low, in a boat.
  • Robert Bly, “Driving toward the Lac Qui Parle River” from Silence in the Snowy Fields (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1962). Copyright © 1962 by Robert Bly. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

  • Source: Selected Poems (1986)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion