Monday, April 23, 2007

Poem 23

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside men, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

Thiss shaking keeps me steady. I should know,
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

~Theodore Roethke



I love "The Waking," partly because I really have no idea what it's about. I have discovered that I enjoy poets like Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, John Donne, and W.B. Yeats who are not easily read, poets who require you to dig in your heels and examine every word, every nuance, to discover what they are saying.

2 comments:

Ensio Kataja said...

Dear Maureen,

Theodore Rothke's poems are to my liking as well. In my opinion, they reflect the kind of Mystery that resides in our everyday lives as well as in the religious experience. One of my all time favourites from him is In A Dark Time, which might also be one of his most famous poems.

MaureenE said...

Ensio, I agree. Religious experience has to permeat our lives, not just reside in a particular time.

I hadn't read "In A Dark Time" before. Thank you for introducing it to me.