Roethke

Sunday, January 13, 2019

We used to spend weekends at Roethke’s place:
The rush of wind would rip tender leaves off
from their green twigs, chaos growing by the hour,
and fling them in confusion on the land.

It was a strange house Ted had, a stranger sky
above, in which rain hung weirdly inside clouds,
unfalling; yet how fallen we knew we felt we were
inside. How motionless we lay as night came on

and set a thousand poets on their courses—
started, once published, and once popularized,
tens of thousands of declamatory sentences
decked in gray. It all felt so inert—unnatural—

and yet it had this way of seeping into sense,
through music and through its own musculature.
Sadness, we would learn, was our horizon;
what we had hoped for had not come to pass.

• • •
 

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