Today is the birthday of one of our favorite poets, Theodore Roethke. That fact prompted us to pull an old volume of Roethke poems off the shelf, where we were reminded of why we like this writer.
Our Roethke book, a paperback edition of The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke, was published in 1975 by Doubleday Anchor, after the poet's death. The collection includes some wonderful work, including the haunting and lovely poem, "Elegy for Jane: My Student, Thrown by a Horse." Anyone who has children and fears for their safety, as all parents do, will be moved by Roethke's lines.
Then there's the beautiful poem called "The Waking." It's a poem that is so evocative that we've never forgotten its mysterious language.
Even the opening line suggests Roethke's lyrical power: "I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow."