Theodore Roethke

po_Roethke-Theodore2Theodore Roethke (May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963) was an American poet, who published several volumes of influential and critically successful verse.

He is widely regarded as among the most accomplished and influential poets of his generation.

His first book, Open House (1941), took ten years to write and was critically acclaimed upon its publication. He went on to publish sparingly but his reputation grew with each new collection, including The Waking which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1954.

IT WAS BEGINNING WINTER
Theodore Roethke

It was beginning winter,
An in-between time,
The landscape still partly brown:
The bones of weeds kept swinging in the wind,
Above the blue snow. It was beginning winter,

The light moved slowly over the frozen field,
Over the dry seed-crowns,
The beautiful surviving bones
Swinging in the wind.

Light traveled over the wide field;
Stayed.
The weeds stopped swinging.
The mind moved, not alone,
Through the clear air, in the silence.

Was it light?
      Was it light within?
      Was it light within light? 
      Stillness becoming alive,
      Yet still?

A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.
Wait.