Apr. 2nd, 2012

armistice_day: (modern vintage . the vile village)
He didn't look a thing like a poet, did Theodore Roehtke.
Assigned reading: The Lost Son, one of his first longer works.
...

from "The Lost Son"

Snail, snail, glister me forward,
bird, soft-sigh me home,
worm, be with me.
This is my hard time.

Fished in an old wound,
the soft pond of repose;
nothing nibbled my line,
not even the minnows came.

Sat in an empty house
watching shadows crawl,
scratching.
There was one fly.

Voice, come out of the silence.
Say something.

Appear in the form of a spider
or a moth beating the curtain.

Tell me:
which is the way I take;
out of what door do I go,
where and to whom?



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.


-- Theodore Roethke

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