I heard a dying man Say to his gathered kin, “My soul’s hung out to dry, Like a fresh salted skin; I doubt I’ll use it again. “What’s done is yet to come; The flesh deserts the bone, But a kiss widens the rose I know, as the dying know Eternity is Now. “A man… Continue reading Theodore Roethke
I Knew a Woman I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: The shapes a bright container can contain! Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek… Continue reading Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: —Theodore Roethke, from “I Knew a Woman,” Words for the Wind: The Collected Verse of Theodore Roethke (Indiana University Press, 1964)
The Far Field I I dream of journeys repeatedly: Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula, The road lined with snow-laden second growth, A fine dry snow ticking the windshield, Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic, And no lights behind, in the… Continue reading Theodore Roethke
Much of poetry is an anguished waiting. — Theodore Roethke, On Poetry and Craft: Selected Prose. (Copper Canyon Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition April 1, 2001) Originally published June 1st 1965.
Slow river, fingering a shell, thinking: Once I was something like this, mindless. — Theodore Roethke, from “The Far Field.,” The Far Field. (Bantam Dell Pub Group (Trd); 1st US – 1st Printing edition September 1998)
What Can I Tell My Bones? 1 Beginner, Perpetual beginner, The soul knows not what to believe, In its small folds, stirring sluggishly, In the least place of its life, A pulse beyond nothingness, A fearful ignorance. Before the moon draws back, Dare I blaze like a tree? In a world always late… Continue reading Theodore Roethke