[[ read online Textbooks ]] Iron John: A Book About MenAuthor Robert Bly – Multi-channel.co

In This Deeply Learned Book, Poet And Translator Robert Bly Offers Nothing Less Than A New Vision Of What It Is To Be A ManBly 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 CenteredSimultaneously 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


10 thoughts on “Iron John: A Book About Men

  1. says:

    Having just pushed through the deep lakes of thought Bly makes us dwell in, and having exhausted a lot of energy traveling miles and miles of metaphor I feel short of power to describe this book I can say that I am, and few would disagree, the least among you to be found in a drum circle, or even drinking starbuck s Which is not to say that I am better, onlystubborn about these things And now further admitting my manhood is not at all comfortable with the idea of needing a men s Having just pushed through the deep lakes of thought Bly makes us dwell in, and having exhausted a lot of energy traveling miles and miles of metaphor I feel short of power to describe this book I can say that I am, and few would disagree, the least among you to be found in a drum circle, or even drinking starbuck s Which is not to say that I am better, onlystubborn about these things And now further admitting my manhood is not at all comfortable with the idea of needing a men s movement and winces at the very thought Now, having admitted both above to for your consideration I wish to say only that this book is not what I thought it would be, and I am deeply grateful for that It is not a manifesto, or a self help instructional, nor commentary passing as self aggrandizement It is not an attack backhanded or otherwise at women though I can understand why some modern thinking mothers may feel it is in fact I felt too often he wasted repeated qualifying line after qualifying line for the sole sake of comforting his women readers, soon to be attackers in any case, despite his verbosity he has a genuine richness of mind and spirit and perhaps his real gift is to free men to think in myth again Perhaps in time the true value of this meandering philosophical work will be revealed as stealing back some wonder and mysticism in an age of reason humans love metaphors because most things that mean anything are not so tame as to fit into a single word Witness the blandness of the word love, or hate, or orgasm when compared to the complexity and depth of the actual thing And the metaphor is often the closest an author can get to the real thing in written form, and in many ways its the closest some of us can come to painful parts of ourselves Through this perhaps Bly has found a language for self interaction that free s us from the clinician lurking within us Gone are terms like Self Esteem or Ego or confidence and in come the king, and the warriors who protect them and perhaps we find we still have some fight left in us Perhaps, freed from science we can use imagination to bridge an otherwise uncrossable divide between where we are and where we need to be Bly hands us this and I think it is on us resist its complexity, and our desire to consume it It s on us to allow it to sink in and become part of our vocabulary for visualizing the world, and ourselves


  2. says:

    Oh, man We all know how it s said that we can t judge books by their covers, or at least that we shouldn tbut this book can be judged easily with a quick glance at the back cover Here is the author Note the ethnic vest over the button up shirt and velvet ascot This sums up, metaphorically, my experience of the contents of the book A little bit hippie, a little bit new age fetishist, a little bit ladies man of the 1970 sand a little bit straightlaced and conservative underneath it Oh, man We all know how it s said that we can t judge books by their covers, or at least that we shouldn tbut this book can be judged easily with a quick glance at the back cover Here is the author Note the ethnic vest over the button up shirt and velvet ascot This sums up, metaphorically, my experience of the contents of the book A little bit hippie, a little bit new age fetishist, a little bit ladies man of the 1970 sand a little bit straightlaced and conservative underneath it all So, he s basically promoting the male version of the bleeding warriors of peace women who paint murals of pregnant goddesses growing out of trees I tried really hard to give this book a fair chance After all, Robert Bly has taken the time to suggest that men are alienated from their masculine natures and that this condition is bad for everybody I can get behind that But I just can t tolerate sentences like Men and women alike once called on men to pierce the dangerous places, carry handfuls of courage to the waterfalls, dust the tails of the wild boars WTF Dusting the tails of pigs


  3. says:

    The promising start 1 Modern men are losing their identitythe images of adult manhood given by popular culture are worn out a man can no longer depend on them p.1 2372 Feminised men are unhappythe soft male has a gentle attitude toward lifebut many of these men are not happywomen begand to desire softer menit isn t working out p.3 2373 Feminised men arose from recent historical changes in parentingThe Industrial Revolutionpulled fathers away from their sons and, The promising start 1 Modern men are losing their identitythe images of adult manhood given by popular culture are worn out a man can no longer depend on them p.1 2372 Feminised men are unhappythe soft male has a gentle attitude toward lifebut many of these men are not happywomen begand to desire softer menit isn t working out p.3 2373 Feminised men arose from recent historical changes in parentingThe Industrial Revolutionpulled fathers away from their sons and, over, placed the sons in compulsory schools where the teachers are mostly women p.19 237If this doesn t interest you, stop here.So, I thought, this book seems to describe how a son s relationship with his parents mainly father might gauge his masculinity Despite the troubling lack of evidence or logic, and the suspicious repetition of the above three points with the dogmatic tone of we all know that gender bias phenomenon leading every chapter, I thought, this book might offer practical advice for Bly s so called soft males My disappointment Maybe this book does, did or will help some men discover their identity, which is great, but the few glimmers I found in this I already think I understood bytransparent, recent sources Freud Jung fiction to my own observations I tried to like this book, but by the end, disliked this book for 2 main reasons.SPOILER ALERT If this book can have one 1.It offers no clear practical adviceMoreover, I am afraid of how to do it books on the Wild Man p.233 237This bothered me, as reading 200 pages of, let s face it, very abstract, unrealistic symbolic descriptions of finding one s masculinity , one is left thinking how exactly this could be done The only worth I could give this Iron John analogy was if it suggested a method, which if applied, helped one find what the book was suggesting was lost, masculinity Empiricism uncredited theorytest resultcredit theory However, I sometimes feel as if the descriptions servedto change the reader s political views The president, the use of drugs, and gang warfare were repeatedly sneaked in as the only evidence for something to do with men without fathers I felt like I was reading a sneaky propaganda piece trying to woo me in with claims to a higher power I alone lacked, no method of attaining it, and out of nowhere sociopolitical comparisons embedded as conclusions to a shaky argument.2 I think this is potentially misleading to the majority of presently young menI d say this is presently outdated for men already in their 18 30s, and to me this seems counter intuitive for finding one s masculinity Third wave feminism began after the publishing of this book which I think in Western societies has radically changed the general consensus on, and therefore usefulness, of traditional gender roles Also, doesn t poeticising masculinity without providing practical guidance to attain it encourage men already trapped in female realm to indulge further into the female realm As in, describing figures as Kings and Godesses encourages men to idealise others, which is in itself seems to contribute directly to the rejection of the soft male What use are principles grounded in fairy tales Their context provides them no prescription to the possibilities, requirements or desires of reality There are no bounds to it For example, I could develop a fairy tale where something like the Wild Man exists as a non human animal spirits which can be reached only by the closeness afforded by domestic household petseveryone knows that cats inhabit the female realm and dogs inhabit the male realm rolls eyes and say that dog owners are farlikely to find the Wild Man, and the basis for justhow appealingthis sounded, some people might see this as actual advice That might sound as ridiculous as Russell s teapot, but how many assertions of this book really satisfy a burden of proof I just feel this book paints a picture of a boy whom becomes a man solely by having the courage to rely on others, which I think leaves no room for apromising interpretation that a boy becomes a man when he becomes unreliant on others Especially when there seems to be no one way to reach the Wild Man, or one way to ride the horses provided by the Wild Man, it just seems like nothing concrete has been said at all even within the mythopoetic context for how and how not to find the path I would only recommend this to fatherless men particularly interested in acting on understanding the effects of the relationship they have had would have with their father I m trying to find booksconstructive to discussing the current situation for masculinity in Western societies, I welcome recommendations


  4. says:

    A big poem on masculinity, every man should read this book I don t think I can emphasize this enough And I guess conjoining the word masculine and the word poem here is pregnant with meaning that is, so much can be induced here I m not saying that poetry is exclusively feminine It s just that being masculine but lacking the ability to shudder, as Robert Bly puts it, isn t the real thingit s the masculine shadow, ungrounded, holding the sword, and swinging it sideways, aimlessly A big poem on masculinity, every man should read this book I don t think I can emphasize this enough And I guess conjoining the word masculine and the word poem here is pregnant with meaning that is, so much can be induced here I m not saying that poetry is exclusively feminine It s just that being masculine but lacking the ability to shudder, as Robert Bly puts it, isn t the real thing it s the masculine shadow, ungrounded, holding the sword, and swinging it sideways, aimlessly True masculinity, in other words, is capable of feeling.The goal of this book is to initiate men from boyhood or pretence of manhood into manhood The journey begins with the mother and father, building the bond, swimming in their pond, breaking away, stealing the keys from under the mother s pillow, meeting the Woman with the Golden Hair, cultivating the garden, winning the battle And finally, the boy once, a man now, a Golden Man now, proposes to the Golden Woman.In Iron John s story, these events build up quickly In real life, however, the individuating man would be fifty by the end.Iron John, The Wild Man, is a symbol not for the macho alpha male we see in popular culture, but for that man in touch with the earth, grounded in his lower body, in touch with his instinct, with the uncanny impulses of the deep waters of the unconscious spontaneous, vigorous, and alive In a word, he has a strong emotional body that can endure Life.All I can say, I love this book I m definitely reading it again


  5. says:

    One of the Best Books I have ever Read.Truly one of the best books I have ever read, and I have read many.Robert Bly is a Poet and the founder of a Man s Movement In Iron John he brings both elements to bear in a way that will only truly be understood by men.That s right I said it This book requires a man to truly understand it Women are welcome I suppose a man can read Cosmo and come away with something too You may find that sexist You may find that unfair Tough That s the way it One of the Best Books I have ever Read.Truly one of the best books I have ever read, and I have read many.Robert Bly is a Poet and the founder of a Man s Movement In Iron John he brings both elements to bear in a way that will only truly be understood by men.That s right I said it This book requires a man to truly understand it Women are welcome I suppose a man can read Cosmo and come away with something too You may find that sexist You may find that unfair Tough That s the way it is written and for whom it is written There are some differences between Men and Woman that go beyond nature s plumbing Society has a tendency to civilize men to keep them safe and productive There s good reason to do this What is sad is when men are effectively emasculated and no longer able to commune and rejoice in that Wild Man Archetype from whence we came The hunter, protector and leader Iron John to be precise.Now don t get me wrong This is not a book to walk away from and remake yourself in the image of an unkempt slob who scratches himself in public This is not a shallow, Be a MAN kinda read.I found myself profoundly affected in reading this as a man in his mid 30 s the age I was at the time I did not have a particularly close relationship with my father In fact there were very few men to whom I could be said to have had a close friendship let a lone a mentoring relationship.Along comes this book and it presents through beautiful and accessible imagery a book that is about me I found myself relating and understanding things that I long suspected, but didn t know Robert Bly as it were put his arm around me and showed me through his imagery and modelling, what was missing in me My identity and celebration of myself as a man No woman can give that to me, though I love and respect women My father didn t give it I am the target of this book A man who is drifting unable to connect with something essential.It s not surprising to me that the evaluations of this book are all over the map If you aren t a male and if you aren t attuned to and needing the message of this book, it probably feels like you are reading someone else s male pun intended This book is especially great for men in their so called mid life crisis trying to come to terms with who they really are Any man wanting to find himself can benefit from the work if they are able to assimilate and personalize what is presented here.Iron John has no particularly strong religious overtones If you want a similar book with Christian context try John Eldridge s Wild at Heart I recommend Iron John strongly I ve experienced the message it brings and it is sorely needed in our society by men who have lost touch and connection with what it means to be a man


  6. says:

    My boyfriend gave this to me and said Please read this, I think it will help you understand me So, with grim determination, and a not all too pleasant mindset, I began to read Iron John Robert Bly is a respected poet and a leader of men or, a man who thinks he knows how to make men better men by teaching them to find the wild man inside of them and showing them when and how to make use of his characteristics I m not really a fan of the book I couldn t finish it This could be because I m My boyfriend gave this to me and said Please read this, I think it will help you understand me So, with grim determination, and a not all too pleasant mindset, I began to read Iron John Robert Bly is a respected poet and a leader of men or, a man who thinks he knows how to make men better men by teaching them to find the wild man inside of them and showing them when and how to make use of his characteristics I m not really a fan of the book I couldn t finish it This could be because I m a woman At first, I found it interesting, but as soon as he started talking about how woman have good intentions when trying to help men grow into themselves or assist in their daily problems we are doingharm than good While I agree that this might be true, he just says it too many times for me to be able to stand reading the book without feeling like a useless piece of crap It disheartened me so much that I could not finish reading it And Robert states that he means no ill will towards women, and he thinks we are wonderful creatures and have a large purpose in the lives of men, but we just can t do anything to help them and should probably stop trying I handed it, unfinished, back to my boyfriend, apologized for not wanting to finish it and stated that I did understand him a little better, but I wasn t willing to buy into everything Bly is selling He believes too firmly in ONE thing for me to be able to agree with him There is no wiggle room in his theories for other things If you are a man, chances are you will find a lot in this book helpful and informative, but if you re a woman, this book isn t for you, unless you are intellectually curious about what Bly has to say about the plight of the modern man


  7. says:

    A book about perspectives on the wildness of men throughout history, with emphasis on the need for a return to the rites of passage laid out metaphorically in the Iron John tale as told by the Brothers Grimm, which likely dates back to ancient times Sounds interesting, right Except that it turns into a disconnected ramble that assumes anything ancient is automatically better than anything contemporary This is a logical fallacy that makes meangry every time I come across it The A book about perspectives on the wildness of men throughout history, with emphasis on the need for a return to the rites of passage laid out metaphorically in the Iron John tale as told by the Brothers Grimm, which likely dates back to ancient times Sounds interesting, right Except that it turns into a disconnected ramble that assumes anything ancient is automatically better than anything contemporary This is a logical fallacy that makes meangry every time I come across it The reason humanity sought development was because the ancient world was a swirl of misery Just because our attempt to perfect ourselves was a failed project, that doesn t mean the starting point was better In the typical style of adherents to this position, Bly points to the virtues of ancient religious mythological sources Shivaism, cult of Dionysis, etc without ever judging the actual outcomes for those who chose to participate in these systems I mean, they re very old, so they must have been better, right After a few good introductory chapters the Freudian and Jungian nonsense begins, often signified by phrases like clearly this means in reference to the most nebulous concepts If someone dreams of swimming clearly this means his greatest wish is to return to the watery roots of the earliest organisms Barf Because of the incessant pseudo mysticism, I was reminded of the time I tried to read Joseph Campbell s Hero With A Thousand Faces At least the Star Wars movies came out of that


  8. says:

    Nuggets of wisdom scattered amid the psychobabble.


  9. says:

    Iron John is commonly regarded as one of the major men s books written over the past few decades In many ways it functions as a secular Wild at Heart It s an easy read that covers a lot of deep issues relating to masculinity There s a lot to like about this book, as well as a few problems I ll start with the good stuff First, I love the mythological approach Bly takes to masculinity He s considered one of the foremost figures in the Mythopoetic Men s Movement, and for good reason He not Iron John is commonly regarded as one of the major men s books written over the past few decades In many ways it functions as a secular Wild at Heart It s an easy read that covers a lot of deep issues relating to masculinity There s a lot to like about this book, as well as a few problems I ll start with the good stuff First, I love the mythological approach Bly takes to masculinity He s considered one of the foremost figures in the Mythopoetic Men s Movement, and for good reason He not only understands the value of mythology, he s able to draw you into the myth and teach from it Second, the book represented some unique takes on masculine initiation Much of the discussion of initiation was familiar to other sources, and necessarily so The only idea of initiation is walking a tried and true path, not reinventing the wheel However, that doesn t mean there s no room for fresh perspective I found Bly s suggestion that it may be beneficial and necessary for the lover archetype to come into a boy s life before the warrior to be fascinating I m not sure to what extent I agree, but I love the idea Third, Iron John represents a balanced and holistic view of masculinity There s no part of the book where it feels like Bly is short shifting one issue and overemphasizing another As a result, this is a great introduction to masculine issues Now for a couple of drawbacks.First, Bly can be a bit long winded at times He s a terrific writer, and I certainly don t want a book that s so condensed and digestible that it loses the beauty of the language Honestly, I can t stand books like that I m looking at you John Maxwell However, there were times where it felt like a littletrimming would have been appropriate Second, I come at men s issues from a mostly evangelical perspective, which Bly does not share As a result there are places where Bly and I part ways rather decisively This isn t a criticism in the sense that I expect Bly to share my views, but I also can t pretend as a reader to not be reading from my Christian worldview As a result, I see Bly s work, while being very good and worthwhile, as ultimately falling short in several areas The good far outweighs the bad in this one This is a must read for any man seeking to understand himself or any woman interested in learningabout the men in her life


  10. says:

    Bly is sly He talks about men without isolating women, without excluding the Divine Feminine from the male experience.In a day and age where the alpha male has been replaced by the only rational option, the beta male, Bly offers a third way, the nurturing Father.I really like the way Bly brings in fairy tale, mysticism, some gnosticism, and paganism, and um, even mythicism and also um the kitchen sink to describe the male ego in all of it s complexity.The most telling, for me, is the chapter on Bly is sly He talks about men without isolating women, without excluding the Divine Feminine from the male experience.In a day and age where the alpha male has been replaced by the only rational option, the beta male, Bly offers a third way, the nurturing Father.I really like the way Bly brings in fairy tale, mysticism, some gnosticism, and paganism, and um, even mythicism and also um the kitchen sink to describe the male ego in all of it s complexity.The most telling, for me, is the chapter on the lost King, concerning modern men s relationships to their workaholic distant Fathers, and embracing of their Mothers The mothers encouraged men to eschew manual labor vulgar forspiritual work involving intellectualism And obviously, with the Enlightenment and the dispatch of Kings, the male ego has no really earthly Father to gaze upon as a Spiritual Guide.Bly rightly points out that in aboriginal tribes such as Indian and Australian, male initiation still takes place for boys where today in postmodern Western society, the lack of men intervening in boys lives makes the process muchdrawn out, muchprotracted and even postponed What happens in some aboriginal boys lives at age thirteen only happens to young men aged forty in Western society.Initiation, for me personally, occurred anonymously and in my late thirties, and lasted much too long I only now am just coming to grips with the fact it happened and the resultant implications.It is uncanny the path and waypoints the initiation takes as described in Bly s book and how it was meted out in my own experience, pointing to what must be a universal phenomenon that encompasses many cultures.I recommend this book for any man who has ever failed miserably at being a man.The rest already have this stuff down pat, I m sure