Iron John: A Book about Men

Front Cover
Da Capo Press, 2004 - Social Science - 268 pages
4 Reviews
In this deeply learned book, poet and translator Robert Bly offers nothing less than a new vision of what it is to be a man.Bly's vision is based on his ongoing work with men and reflections on his own life. He addresses the devastating effects of remote fathers and mourns the disappearance of male initiation rites in our culture. Finding rich meaning in ancient stories and legends, Bly uses the Grimm fairy tale "Iron John," in which the narrator, or "Wild Man," guides a young man through eight stages of male growth, to remind us of archetypes long forgotten-images of vigorous masculinity, both protective and emotionally centered.Simultaneously poetic and down-to-earth, combining the grandeur of myth with the practical and often painful lessons of our own histories, Iron John is a rare work that will continue to guide and inspire men-and women-for years to come.

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Iron John: a book about men

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Bly, a major American poet who won a National Book Award in 1968, appears regularly at workshops for men. The book's title refers to a mentor-like figure in a Grimms fairy tale who serves as Wild Man ... Read full review

Review: Iron John: A Book about Men

User Review  - Robyn Taylor - Goodreads

Interesting analogies by this fine poet. He finds parallels between different societies' myths of how boys become men. I loved some of the deep history -- "Iron John" from the Brothers Grimm is based on a story 20,000 years old. Gorgeous stuff that rings true. Read full review

Selected pages


The Pillow and the Key
When One Hair Turns Gold
The Road of Ashes Descent and Grief
The Hunger for the King in a Time with No Father
The Meeting with the GodWoman in the Garden
To Bring the Interior Warriors Back to Life
Riding the Red the White and the Black Horses
The Wound by the Kings Men
The Wild Man in Ancient Religion Literature and Folk Life
The Story of Iron John

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About the author (2004)

Robert Bly is the author of many books of poetry. He is also a renowned translator, editor, and a founder of the Men's Movement. He lives in Minneapolis and in Moose Lake, Minnesota.

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