The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke
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This paperback edition contains the complete text of Roethke's seven published volumes plus sixteen previously uncollected poems. Included are his Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners The Walking, Words for the Wind, and The Far Field.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
things, And all the stones have wings. A WALK IN LATE SUMMER 1 A gull rides on the ripples of a dream, White upon white, slow-settling on a stone; Across my lawn the soft-backed creatures come; In the weak light they wander, each alone. Bring me the meek, for I would know their ways; I am a connoisseur of midnight eyes. The small! The small! I hear them singing clear On the long banks, in the soft summer air. 2 What is there for the soul to understand? The slack face of the dismal
breaking the eddying current, Neither white nor red, in the dead middle way, Where impulse no longer dictates, nor the darkening shadow, A vulnerable place, Surrounded by sand, broken shells, the wreckage of water. 5 As light reflects from a lake, in late evening, When bats fly, close to slightly tilting brownish water, And the low ripples run over a pebbly shoreline, As a fire, seemingly long dead, flares up from a downdraft of air in a chimney, Or a breeze moves over the knees from a
whiter at root, A luminous stillness. The shade speaks slowly: ‘Adore and draw near. Who knows this— Knows all.’ 5 I thirst by day. I watch by night. I receive! I have been received! I hear the flowers drinking in their light, I have taken counsel of the crab and the sea-urchin, I recall the falling of small waters, The stream slipping beneath the mossy logs, Winding down to the stretch of irregular sand, The great logs piled like matchsticks. I am most immoderately married: The
Some cannot praise him: I am one of those. 2. The Mistake He left his pants upon a chair: She was a widow, so she said: But he was apprehended, bare, By one who rose up from the dead. 3. The Centaur The Centaur does not need a Horse; He’s part of one, as a matter of course. ’Twixt animal and man divided, His sex-life never is one-sided. He does what Doves and Sparrows do— What else he does is up to you. THE HARSH COUNTRY There was a hardness of stone, An uncertain glory, Glitter
the shape of a pot; Everything limp But one tulip on top, One swaggering head Over the dying, the newly dead. CARNATIONS Pale blossoms, each balanced on a single jointed stem, The leaves curled back in elaborate Corinthian scrolls; And the air cool, as if drifting down from wet hemlocks, Or rising out of ferns not far from water, A crisp hyacinthine coolness, Like that clear autumnal weather of eternity, The windless perpetual morning above a September cloud. FRAU BAUMAN, FRAU