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 (Wesleyan University Press, 1986)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned to enjoy older poems. At first, I hated the requirement that I had to choose a poem that was pre-20th century. However, as time went by, I began to enjoy the poems more and more. My favorite pre-20th century poet is now Emily Bronte. "
Eseme Segbefia
2018 NY POL Champ