Theodore Roethke


Reading List:

  • The Lost Son
  • Sensibility! O la!
  • The Shy Man
  • The Waking
  • My Papa’s Waltz
  • Elegy for Jane
  • I Knew A Woman
  • The Signals
  • The Summons
  • The Far Field
  • The Serpent
  • The Cow
  • The Chair
  • The Ceiling
  • The Shape of the Fire
  • Fugitive
  • O Lull Me, Lull Me
  • O, Thou Opening, O

LINK to article praising Roethke’s notebooks:


“The silver apples of the moon,/the golden apples of the sun”


Hazel wood was used in folk lore, among other things, to gain poetic inspiration.

I went out to the hazel wood, 

Because a fire was in my head…”

LINK to The Song of Wandering Aengus:


O you not hear me calling, white deer with no horns?

I have been changed to a hound with one red ear;

I have been in the Path of Stones and the Wood of Thorns,

For somebody hid hatred and hope and desire and fear

Under my feet that they follow you night and day.

A man with a hazel wand came without sound;

He changed me suddenly; I was looking another way;

And now my calling is but the calling of a hound;

And Time and Birth and Change are hurrying by.

I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West

And had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky

And lay in the darkness, grunting, and turning to his rest.


Poems to read:

  • The Second Coming
  • A Dialogue of Self and Soul
  • Adam’s Curse
  • A Prayer for My Daughter 
  • A Prayer for My Son
  • O Do Not Love Too Long
  • When You Are Old
  • To A Young Girl
  • The Sorrow of Love
  • A Poet to His Beloved
  • He Wishes His Beloved Were Dead
  • All Things Can Tempt Me
  • Among School Children
  • Byzantium
  • Beggar to Beggar Cried
  • Broken Dreams

And many, many more. Find them here:

Neruda, fluent in the language of the soul & the heart of woman, romanticist, supreme gamster of all life had to offer

From The Captain’s Verses: 

Letter on the Road

Farewell, but you will be
with me, you will go within
a drop of blood circulating in my veins
or Outside, a kiss that burns my Face
or a belt of fire at my waist.
My sweet, accept
the great love that came out of my life
and that in you found no territory
like the explorer lost
in the isles of bread and honey.
I found you after
the storm,
the rain washed the air
and in the water
your sweet feet gleamed like fishes.

Adored one, I am off to my fighting.
Continue reading “Neruda, fluent in the language of the soul & the heart of woman, romanticist, supreme gamster of all life had to offer”


Brillant film,  reminiscent of a cross between  Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Albert Camus’ The Stranger in terms of plot, character, tone, exploration of the subconscious, and moral examination.

“pickpocket” (1959) directed by Robert Bresson

Genre: Crime, Drama

Summary: “Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.”


Kipling, & Romani

Gipsy Vans

A Madonna of the Trenches
From “Debits and Credits” (1919-1923)

Unless you come of the gipsy stock

That steals by night and day,

Lock your heart with a double lock

And throw the key away.

Bury it under the blackest stone

Beneath your father’s hearth,

And keep your eyes on your lawful own

And your feet to the proper path.

Then you can stand at your door and mock

When the gipsy vans come through…

For it isn’t right that the Gorgio stock Should live as the Romany do.


Unless you come of the gipsy blood

That takes and never spares,

Bide content with your given good

And follow your own affairs.

Plough and harrow and roll your land,

And sow what ought to be sowed;

But never let loose your heart from your hand,

Nor flitter it down the road!

Then you can thrive on your boughten food

As the gipsy vans come through…

For it isn’t nature the Gorgio blood Should love as the Romany do.


Unless you carry the gipsy eyes

That see but seldom weep,

Keep your head from the naked skies

Or the stars’ll trouble your sleep.

Watch your moon through your window-pane

And take what weather she brews;

But don’t run out in the midnight rain

Nor home in the morning dews.

Then you can huddle and shut your eyes

As the gipsy vans come through…

For it isn’t fitting the Gorgio ryes Should walk as the Romany do.


Unless you come of the gipsy race

That counts all time the same,

Be you careful of Time and Place

And Judgment and Good Name:

Lose your life for to live your life

The way that you ought to do;

And when you are finished,

your God and your wife

And the Gipsies’ll laugh at you!

Then you can rot in your burying place

As the gipsy vans come through…

For it isn’t reason the Gorgio race Should die as the Romany do.

Poetry Lovers Page LINK:

T.S. Elliot, Beyond “The Wasteland”

                                IL MIGLIOR FABBRO
              I. The Burial of the Dead
  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.



I cannot praise The Wasteland enough, but I will leave you with the first few lines for now, and, as experience as taught me, April most certainly is the cruellest month. But as Fitzgerald said:

“Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.”-The Sensible Thing

Please click this LINK:

and read all of TS Elliot’s poetry, but especially:

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

2. Rhapsody on a Windy Night

3. Portrait of a Lady

4. The Four Quartets

5. Little Gidding


6. Hysteria

Some of his lines from the above selections “which cross and cross across [my] brain” (Rhapsody on a Windy Night):


1: “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

“Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent”

“In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.”

“And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,”

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”

“Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?”
  “Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
               That is not it, at all.”
“Do I dare to eat a peach?”

Continue reading “T.S. Elliot, Beyond “The Wasteland””

Baudelaire, “Les fleurs du Mal”

39. ‘I give to you these verses’

I give to you these verses, that, if in

Some future time my name lands happily

To bring brief pleasure to humanity,

The craft supported by a great north wind,


Your memory, like tales from ancient times,

Will bore the reader like a dulcimer,

And by a strange fraternal chain live here

As if suspended in my lofty rhymes.


From deepest pit into the highest sky

Damned being, only I can bear you now.

-O shadow, barely present to the eye,


You lightly step, with a serene regard

On mortal fools who’ve judged you mean and hard-

Angel with eyes of jet, great burnished brow!


39. ‘Je te donne ces vers…’
Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom

Aborde heureusement aux époques lointaines,

Et fait rêver un soir les cervelles humaines,

Vaisseau favorisé par un grand aquilon,


Ta mémoire, pareille aux fables incertaines,

Fatigue le lecteur ainsi qu’un tympanon,

Et par un fraternel et mystique chaînon

Reste comme pendue à mes rimes hautaines;


Être maudit à qui; de l’abîme profond

Jusqu’au plus haut du ciel, rien, hors moi, ne répond!

-Ô toi qui, comme une ombre à la trace éphémère,


Foules d’un pied léger et d’un regard serein

Les stupides mortels qui t’ont jugée amère,

Statue aux yeux de jais, grand ange au front d’airain!

Continue reading “Baudelaire, “Les fleurs du Mal””