The Masculine Road: The Red, White And Black with Robert Bly

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"You don't make a boy into a man simply by feeding him a certain kind of food," says Bly, as he describes the three necessary and sequential life phases symbolized by three colors - the "red, white and black" - in the Grimm Brothers' fairytale "Iron John." Bly casts a penetrating light on these male life stages, describing complications that arise, for example, when a boy skips the red and goes directly to the white. He also discusses how these stages, when fulfilled, affect men's relationships with women. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Robert Bly (1926-2021), Poet, translator and teacher. Bly was the author of many books, including:

To learn more about the work of Robert Bly go to

Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 3/8/1991        Program Number: 2244