From Behind The Blind by Robert Murphy


“What Murphy captures in this remarkable book is no less than the transformation of mind in the crucible of the open heart.”  —Paul Pines


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 78
  • Language: English
  • Published: February, 2013
  • ISBN:  978-1-933675-94-7


Robert Murphy’s FROM BEHIND THE BLIND reveals the ambivalence of our condition—rooted in visible and invisible orders, apprehended through symbols and signs—as the expression of concealed wholeness. It is only when the dark as night appears / Within ourselves the stars the vault of heaven holds / no less than God.  Lakota shaman, Black Elk, calls this “seeing in a sacred way.” Every proposition activates its opposite. Sights, sounds, smells open like psychic wormholes: a mother in the late stage of Alzheimer’s merges with the Paleolithic Venus from a time before recorded memory; the gentleman farmer’s butchered cow evokes Osiris in his lead coffin; the limb of an ash over a roof calls to the Norse Yggdrasil whose roots mirror its branches. We make love / To those who hold us prisoner, / to hear them cry out, “I surrender.” There’s a joy in these poems shaped by despair in the awareness that holds both. What Murphy captures in this remarkable book is no less than the transformation of mind in the crucible of the open heart. He emerges from the blind more shaman than hunter—Prospero moved past elegy to celebration. —Paul Pines


The Blind

It comes to us, as the hunter does
from behind his blind
having waited out
his long days thinking:

he would have nothing to show
for his hunter’s patience.
And tired, only for a moment
closing his eyes,

is suddenly startled to find
himself awake inside,
outside, Orion,
in a star-filled sky, blinking.


Robert MurphyRobert Murphy’s poems have appeared in the literary periodical Smartish-Pace, as well as the Colorado Review, the Notre Dame Review, The Cultural SocietyMarsh Hawk Review and the Chicago based journal LVNG. He is the author of a chapbook, Not For You Alone (Dos Madres, 2004), and  Life In The Ordovician – Selected Poems (Dos Madres Press 2007).

He is a 2000 winner of the William Bronk Foundation prize for poetry.

Robert Murphy is also executive editor and publisher of Dos Madres Press. He is married to the iconographer and painter Elizabeth Hughes Murphy, who is both book designer and illustrator for Dos Madres Press.

Additional information

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in