Ted Roethke

As an undergraduate who could recite most anything written by John Keats, I sat in a chilly classroom sipping a cup of watery coffee from the Gypsy Wagon listening to a professor tell us that our anthology textbook would introduce us to a strong representation of contemporary poets … in fact, only one poet in the collection was dead (he had died just two years earlier) … Theodore Roethke. Now I had long ago been warned about living authors who might publish that last novel and destroy the logic of your thesis, so Roethke piqued my interest. Long after that class I was still reading Roethke’s books of poems and books about Roethke (including his biography). I even did my senior thesis on Ted Roethke.

So I was rummaging around earlier today and I came upon a half-dozen of Roethke’s best known poems. Although I remember several other poems as perhaps being more deserving of attention, this was the one of the six that I really liked (I may have to dig out the old Roethke books … let’s see, they are almost fifty years old now).

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