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Theodore Roethke-The Waking

2009/10/24

Barry, a man in my Creative Spark writing class, mentioned a poem by this man the other night so I checked it out.  It is beautiful, and I am sharing it here.   The repeated line, “I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow,” really resonates with me.   I will definitely be reading more of this poet.  Thanks, Barry.

The Waking

by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

 

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

 

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

 

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

 

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

 

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke, “The Waking” from Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. Copyright 1953 by Theodore Roethke. Reprinted with the permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (1961)

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