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Roethke Poem

2009/11/11

I did mention I liked Theodore Roethke, right?  I am going to print a poem here that a poet & I discussed.  Wondering what you think.  It comes from this website

Oh, and I also recommend you check out my new poet friend, Shaindel Beers.  Her work is very human and moving.  I am definitely going to buy her book.

Anywho, back to the Roethke Poem:

I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
And how, once startled into talk, the light syllables leaped for her,
And she balanced in the delight of her thought,
A wren, happy, tail into the wind,
Her song trembling the twigs and small branches.
The shade sang with her;
The leaves, their whispers turned to kissing,
And the mould sang in the bleached valleys under the rose.
Oh, when she was sad, she cast herself down into such a pure depth,
Even a father could not find her:
Scraping her cheek against straw,
Stirring the clearest water.
My sparrow, you are not here,
Waiting like a fern, making a spiney shadow.
The sides of wet stones cannot console me,
Nor the moss, wound with the last light.
If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter,
Neither father nor lover.
So, is this not quite intense for a teacher to write about his student?  Or, as Shaindel pointed out, if you are a beloved student of poetry, would you not want your teacher to write an elegy for you?  I think Shaindel raises a good question here. 

Thoughts, anyone?

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