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Author: ROETHKE, THEODORE
Matches Found: 339


Roethke, Theodore    Poet's Biography
339 poems available by this author


A ROUSE FOR STEVENS    Poem Text    
First Line: Wallace stevens, what's he done?
Subject(s): Stevens, Wallace (1879-1955)


A WHEEZE FOR WYSTAN    Poem Text    
First Line: If auden's aunt could love a plant
Subject(s): Auden, Wystan Hugh (1907-1973)


ABYSS       
First Line: Is the stair here
Last Line: Being, not doing, is my first joy


ABYSS, SELS: 2       
First Line: I have been spoken to variously %but heard little
Last Line: But a mole winding through earth, %a night-fishing otter
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Whitman, Walt (1819-1891)


ACADEMIC       
First Line: The stethoscope tells what everyone fears
Last Line: And the style of your prose growing limper and limper


ADAMANT       
First Line: Thought does not crush to stone
Last Line: The core lies sealed


AGAINST DISASTER    Poem Text    
First Line: Now I am out of element
Subject(s): Despair


AGAINST DISASTER       
First Line: Now I am out of element
Last Line: And rout the specter of alarm


ALL THE EARTH, ALL THE AIR       
First Line: I stand with standing stones
Last Line: Would not rejoice


APPARITION       
First Line: My pillow won't tell me
Last Line: He walks by. He walks by
Subject(s): Love


AUCTION       
First Line: Once on returning home, purse-proud and hale


BALLAD OF THE CLAIRVOYANT WIDOW       
First Line: A kindly widow lady, who lived upon a hill
Last Line: The green comes up forever in the fields of our country


BAT       
First Line: By day the bat is cousin to the mouse
Last Line: For something is amiss or out of place %when mice with wings can wear a human face
Subject(s): Animals; Supernatural


BEAST       
First Line: I came to a great door
Last Line: And I wept there, alone


BIG WIND    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Where were the greenhouses going
Subject(s): Wind


BIG WIND       
First Line: Where were the greenhouses going
Last Line: She sailed until the calm morning %carrying her full cargo of roses
Subject(s): Wind


BOUND    Poem Text    
First Line: Negative tree, you are belief
Subject(s): Birds; Inertia


BOY AND THE BUSH       
First Line: A boy who had gumption and push
Last Line: So they talked and they talked and they talked


BRING THE DAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Bees and lilies there were
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


BRING THE DAY       
First Line: Bees and lilies there were
Subject(s): Religion


CARNATIONS       
First Line: Pale blossoms, each balanced on a single jointed stem
Last Line: The windless perpetual morning above a september cloud


CEILING       
First Line: Suppose the ceiling went outside
Subject(s): Houses


CENTAUR       
First Line: The centaur does not need a horse


CHAIR       
First Line: A funny thing about a chair
Last Line: You sometimes have to go and sit


CHANGELING       
First Line: She with her thighs harder than hooves
Last Line: To pierce a cloud %a cloud


CHILD ON TOP OF A GREENHOUSE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The wind billowing out the seat of my britches
Subject(s): Greenhouses


CHILD ON TOP OF A GREENHOUSE       
First Line: The wind billowing out the seat of my britches
Last Line: And everyone, everyone pointing up and shouting
Subject(s): Greenhouses


CHUMS       
First Line: Some are in prison; some are dead
Last Line: I'm grateful for that


COMING OF THE COLD       
First Line: The late peach yields a subtle musk
Last Line: Winds bring a fine and bitter snow


COMING OF THE COLD       
First Line: The late peach yields a subtle musk


COMING OF THE COLD       
First Line: The ribs of leaves lie in the dust
Subject(s): Christmas


COW       
First Line: There once was a cow with a double udder
Last Line: She had to be milked by a man and his wife


CUTTINGS       
First Line: Sticks-in-a-drowse droop over sugary loam
Last Line: Its pale tendrilous horn


CUTTINGS (LATER)       
First Line: This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks
Last Line: I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet


CYCLE       
First Line: Dark water, underground
Last Line: Under a river's source %under primeval stone


DARK ANGEL       
First Line: In the dead middle of the sweating night


DEATH PIECE    Poem Text    
First Line: Invention sleeps within a skull
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


DEATH-PIECE       
First Line: Invention sleeps within a skull
Last Line: Insentient to shock


DECISION       
First Line: What shakes the eye but the invisible
Last Line: As a man turns to face on-coming snow
Subject(s): Religion


DINKY       
First Line: O what's the weather in a beard?
Last Line: You may be dirty dinky


DOLOR    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils
Variant Title(s): Dolour
Subject(s): Depression, Mental; Grief; Office Employees; Social Protest; Mentally Depressed; Mental Distress; Sorrow; Sadness; Clerks


DOLOR       
First Line: I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils
Last Line: Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows, %glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey stan
Variant Title(s): Dolou
Subject(s): Depression, Mental; Grief; Office Employees; Social Protest


DONKEY       
First Line: I had a donkey, that was all right
Subject(s): Donkeys


DOUBLE FEATURE       
First Line: With buck still tied to the log, on comes the light
Last Line: And remember there was something else I was hoping %for


DREAM       
First Line: I met her as a blossom on a stem
Last Line: I came to love, I came into my own
Subject(s): Dreams; Love


DUET    Poem Text    
First Line: O when you were little, you were really big
Subject(s): Kierkegaard, Soren (1813-1855)


DUET       
First Line: O when you were little, you were really big
Last Line: We'll give each other a box on the ear, %- in honor of father kierkegaard
Subject(s): Kierkegaard, Soren (1813-1855)


DYING MAN       
First Line: I heard a dying man
Last Line: Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things


ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: Her face like a rain-beaten stone on the day she rolled


ELEGY       
First Line: Should every creature be as I have been
Last Line: That god that god leans down his heart to hear


ELEGY       
First Line: Her face like a rain-beaten stone on the day she rolled
Last Line: Bearing down, with two steady eyes, %on the quaking butcher
Subject(s): Mourning


ELEGY FOR JANE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils
Subject(s): Accidents; Death; Fathers & Daughters; Labor & Laborers; Youth; Dead, The; Work; Workers


ELEGY FOR JANE       
First Line: I remember the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils
Last Line: I, with no rights in this matter, %neither father nor lover
Subject(s): Accidents; Death; Fathers And Daughters; Labor And Laborers; Youth


EPIDERMAL MACABRE    Poem Text    
First Line: Indelicate is he who loathes
Subject(s): Hate


EPIDERMAL MACABRE       
First Line: Indelicate is he who loathes
Last Line: To sleep immodestly, a most %incarnadine and carnal ghost
Subject(s): Hate


ESSAY       
First Line: Those celebrators of the brain confined


EXORCISM       
First Line: The grey sheep came. I ran
Last Line: Cold, in my own dead salt


FAVORITE       
First Line: A knave who scampered through the needle's eye
Last Line: And longed to feel the impact of defeat


FEUD       
First Line: Corruption reaps the young; you dread
Last Line: Until the dead have been subdued


FIELD OF LIGHT       
First Line: Came to lakes; came to dead water
Last Line: I moved with the morning


FLOWER DUMP       
First Line: Cannas shiny as slag
Last Line: Over the dying, the newly dead


FOLLIES OF ADAM       
First Line: Read me euripides
Last Line: He laughed, once more
Subject(s): Bible; Religion


FOR AN AMOROUS LADY    Poem Text    
First Line: The pensive gnu, the staid aardvark,
Subject(s): Women; Animals; Love


FOR AN AMOROUS LADY       
First Line: The pensive gnu, the staid aardvark


FORCING HOUSE       
First Line: Vines tougher than wrists


FOUR FOR SIR JOHN DAVIES: 1. THE DANCE       
First Line: Is that dance slowing in the mind of man
Last Line: That came to be the bears and yeats would know


FOUR FOR SIR JOHN DAVIES: 2. THE PARTNER       
First Line: Between such animal and human neat
Last Line: In that dark world where gods have lost their way


FOUR FOR SIR JOHN DAVIES: 3. THE WRAITH       
First Line: Incomprehensible gaiety and dread
Last Line: Impaled on light, and whirling slowly down


FOUR FOR SIR JOHN DAVIES: 4. THE VIGIL       
First Line: Dante attained the purgatorial hill
Last Line: The word outleaps the world, and light is all


FRAU BAUMAN, FRAU SCHMIDT, AND FRAU SCHWARTZE    Poem Text    
First Line: Gone the three ancient ladies
Subject(s): Greenhouses; Labor & Laborers; Old Age; Women; Work; Workers


FRAU BAUMAN, FRAU SCHMIDT, AND FRAU SCHWARTZE       
First Line: Gone the three ancient ladies
Last Line: And their snuff-laden breath blowing %lightly over me in my first sleep
Subject(s): Greenhouses; Labor And Laborers; Old Age; Women


FUGITIVE    Poem Text    
First Line: The supple virtue of her mind
Subject(s): Women


FUGITIVE       
First Line: Her flesh is quick: a furious vein


GENESIS       
First Line: This elemental force
Last Line: New meaning grows immense


GENIUS       
First Line: His strength is coiled about a core


GENTLE       
First Line: Delicate the syllables that release the repression
Last Line: The sleep was not deep, but the waking is slow


GERANIUM       
First Line: When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail
Last Line: But I sacked the presumptuous hag the next week %I was that lonely


GIVE WAY, YE GATES       
First Line: Believe me, knot of gristle, I bleed like a tree
Last Line: What slides away %provides


GNU       
First Line: There's this to remember about the gnu
Last Line: He closely resembles -- but I can't tell you


GOB MUSIC       
First Line: I do not have a fiddle so
Last Line: Will bring a good man down


GOO-GIRL       
First Line: Poor myrtle would sigh, sweet my coz
Last Line: And they'll soon stay away in great bunches


HAPPY THREE       
First Line: Inside, my darling wife
Last Line: Three in the sun


HARSH COUNTRY       
First Line: There was a hardness of stone
Last Line: In a country of bright stone


HEARD IN A VIOLENT WARD    Poem Text    
First Line: In heaven, too, / you'd be institutionalized
Subject(s): Depression, Mental; Mentally Depressed; Mental Distress


HEARD IN A VIOLENT WARD       
First Line: In heaven, too
Last Line: And that sweet man, john clare
Subject(s): Depression, Mental


HEARD IN A VIOLENT WARD       
First Line: In heaven, too, %you'd be institutionalized
Last Line: And that sweet man, john clare
Subject(s): Insanity; Poetry And Poets


HER LONGING       
First Line: Before this longing
Last Line: Or beating against the black clouds of the storm, %protecting the sea-cliffs


HER RETICENCE       
First Line: If I could send him only
Last Line: When the wind sighs


HER TIME       
First Line: When all %my waterfall
Last Line: I'm one to follow %to follow


HER WORDS       
First Line: A young mouth laughs at a gift
Last Line: The storm, the storm of a kiss


HER WRATH       
First Line: Dante himself endured
Last Line: From another beatrice


HERON       
First Line: The heron stands in water where the swamp
Last Line: A single ripple starts from where he stood
Subject(s): Birds; Herons


HIGHWAY: MICHIGAN       
First Line: Here from the field's edge we survey


HIPPO       
First Line: A head or tail -- which does he lack
Last Line: Some time I think I'll live that way


HIS FOREBODING       
First Line: The shoal rocks with the sea
Last Line: The winds and waters meet


I CRY, LOVE! LOVE!       
First Line: Went weeping, little bones. But where?
Last Line: We never enter %alone


I KNEW A WOMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: I knew a woman, lovely in her bones
Subject(s): Desire; Love; Men; Women


I KNEW A WOMAN       
First Line: I knew a woman, lovely in her bones
Last Line: These old bones live to learn her wanton ways %(I measure time by how a body sways)
Subject(s): Desire; Love; Men; Women


I NEED, I NEED       
First Line: A deep dish. Lumps in it
Last Line: I know another fire %has roots


I WAITED       
First Line: I waited for the wind to move the dust
Last Line: And all the winds came toward me. I was glad


IDYLL       
First Line: Now as from maple to elm the flittermice skitter and twirl
Last Line: Unmindful of terror and headlines, of speeches and guns


IN A DARK TIME    Poem Text    
First Line: In a dark time, the eye begins to see
Subject(s): Despair; Insanity; Night; Madness; Mental Illness; Bedtime


IN A DARK TIME       
First Line: In a dark time, the eye begins to see
Last Line: And one is one, free in the tearing wind
Subject(s): Despair; Insanity; Night


IN EVENING AIR       
First Line: A dark theme keeps me here
Last Line: How slowly dark comes down on what we do


IN PRAISE OF PRAIRIE       
First Line: The elm tree is our highest mountain peak
Last Line: The feud we kept with space comes to an end


INFIRMITY    Poem Text    
First Line: In purest song one plays the constant fool
Subject(s): Self


INFIRMITY       
First Line: In purest song one plays the constant fool
Last Line: How body spirit slowly does unwind %until we are pure spirit at the end
Subject(s): Self


INTERLUDE       
First Line: The element of air was out of hand
Last Line: What we had hoped for had not come to pass


INTERLUDE       
First Line: The element of air was out of hand
Last Line: What we had hoped for had not come to pass


JOURNEY INTO THE INTERIOR    Poem Text    
First Line: In the long journey out of the self,
Subject(s): Travel; Landscape; Journeys; Trips


JUDGE NOT    Poem Text    
First Line: Faces greying faster than loam-crumbs on a harrow
Subject(s): Bible; Religion; Theology


JUDGE NOT       
First Line: Faces greying faster than loam-crumbs on a harrow
Last Line: I said: on all these, death, with gentleness, come down
Subject(s): Bible; Religion


KITTY-CAT BIRD       
First Line: The kitty-cat bird, he sat on a fence
Last Line: Or you'll end like the kitty-cat bird


LADY AND THE BEAR       
First Line: A lady came to a bear by a stream
Last Line: As he went on fishing his way


LAMB       
First Line: The lamb just says, I am
Last Line: Are you? You're jumping too


LAST WORDS       
First Line: Solace of kisses and cookies and cabbage
Last Line: Enshroud me with light! O whirling! O terrible love!


LIGHT BREATHER       
First Line: The spirit moves
Last Line: A small thing, %singing


LIGHT COMES BRIGHTER       
First Line: The light comes brighter from the east; the caw
Last Line: And young shoots spread upon our inner world


LIGHT LISTENED       
First Line: O what could be more nice
Last Line: Light listened when she sang


LIGHT POEM       
First Line: Wren-song in trellis: a light ecstasy of butterflies courting
Last Line: Wanting the quiet of old wood or stone without water


LINES UPON LEAVING A SANITARIUM       
First Line: Self-contemplation is a curse
Last Line: It operates on other men


LIZARD       
First Line: He too has eaten well
Last Line: Older than I, or the cockroach


LIZARD       
First Line: The time to tickle a lizard
Last Line: At an intimate place like his gizzard


LONG ALLEY       
First Line: A river glides out of the grass. A river or a serpent
Last Line: I moved with the morning


LONG LIVE THE WEEDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Long live the weeds that overwhelm
Subject(s): Weeds


LONG LIVE THE WEEDS       
First Line: Long live the weeds that overwhelm
Last Line: These shape the creature that is I


LONG LIVE THE WEEDS THAT OVERWHELM       


LOST SON       
First Line: At woodlawn I heard the dead cry
Last Line: Be still. %wait
Subject(s): Fathers And Sons


LOST SON: 1. THE FLIGHT       
First Line: At woodlawn I heard the dead cry
Last Line: Just under the water %it usually goes


LOST SON: 2. THE PIT       
First Line: Where do the roots go?
Last Line: Nibble again, fish nerves


LOST SON: 3. THE GIBBER       
First Line: At the wood's mouth
Last Line: Kiss me, ashes, I'm falling through a dark swirl


LOST SON: 4. THE RETURN       
First Line: The way to the boiler was dark
Last Line: Moved in a slow up-sway


LOST SON: 5       
First Line: It was beginning winter
Last Line: Be still %wait


LOVE'S PROGRESS       
First Line: The possibles we dare
Last Line: For I would drown in fire


LULL (NOVEMBER 1939)       
First Line: The winds of hatred blow
Last Line: Still stares the wish to love


MANIFESTATION       
First Line: Many arrivals make us live: the tree becoming
Last Line: We come to something without knowing why


MARROW       
First Line: The wind from off the sea says nothing new
Last Line: I bleed my bones, their marrow to bestow %upon that god who knows what I would know


MEDITATION IN HYDROTHERAPY       
First Line: Six hours a day I lay me down
Last Line: I soon will be myself again


MEDITATIONS OF AN OLD WOMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: On love's worst ugly day
Subject(s): Old Age; Women


MEDITATIONS OF AN OLD WOMAN       
First Line: On love's worst ugly day
Last Line: In such times, lacking a god %I am still happy
Subject(s): Old Age; Women


MEMORY       
First Line: In the slow world of dream
Last Line: The grass changes to stone


MID-COUNTRY BLOW       
First Line: All night and all day the wind roared in the trees
Last Line: But my ear still kept the sound of the sea like a shell


MINIMAL       
First Line: I study the lives on a leaf; the little
Last Line: Cleaning and caressing, %creeping and healing
Subject(s): Insects


MISTAKE       
First Line: He left his pants upon a chair
Last Line: But he was apprehended, bare, %by one who rose up from the dead


MOMENT       
First Line: We passed the ice of pain
Last Line: What else to say? - %we end in joy


MONOTONY SONG       
First Line: A donkey's tail is very nice
Last Line: Unless you're hugh or harry


MOSS-GATHERING    Poem Text    
First Line: To loosen with all ten fingers held wide and limber
Subject(s): Moss


MOSS-GATHERING       
First Line: To loosen with all ten fingers held wide and limber
Last Line: As if I had committed, against the whole scheme of life, a desecration
Subject(s): Moss


MOTION       
First Line: The soul has many motions, body one
Last Line: O, motion o, our chance is still to be


MY DIM-WIT COUSIN       
First Line: My dim-wit cousin, saved by a death-bed quaver
Last Line: My shaving hand jerked back in sudden terror: %I heard your laughter rumble from my belly


MY PAPA'S WALTZ    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: The whiskey on your breath / could make a small boy dizzy
Subject(s): Alcoholism & Alcoholics; Dancing & Dancers; Fathers; Men; Night; Play; Drunkards; Alcohol Abuse; Bedtime


MY PAPA'S WALTZ       
First Line: The whiskey on your breath %could make a small boy dizzy
Last Line: Then waltzed me off to bed %still clinging to your shirt
Subject(s): Alcoholics And Alcoholism; Dancing And Dancers; Fathers; Men; Night; Play


MYRTLE       
First Line: There once was a girl named myrtle
Last Line: These poets, they write like I sneeze


MYRTLE'S COUSIN       
First Line: And then there was myrtle's cousin
Last Line: What her friends couldn't eat at those lunches


NIGHT CROW       
First Line: When I saw that clumsy crow
Last Line: Into a moonless black, %deep in the brain, far back


NIGHT JOURNEY    Poem Text    
First Line: Now as the train bears west
Subject(s): Railroads; Travel; Railways; Trains; Journeys; Trips


NIGHT JOURNEY       
First Line: Now as the train bears west
Last Line: I stay up half the night %to see the land I love
Subject(s): Railroads; Travel


NO BIRD       
First Line: Now here is peace for one who knew
Last Line: No bird awakens her


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: JOURNEY TO THE INTERIOR       
First Line: In the long journey out of the self
Subject(s): Self


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: JOURNEY TO THE INTERIOR       
First Line: In the long journey out of the self
Last Line: And the dead begin from their dark to sing in my sleep
Subject(s): Self


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: MEDITATION AT OYSTER RIVER       
First Line: Over the low, barnacled, elephant-colored rocks
Subject(s): Seashore; Beach; Coast; Shore


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: MEDITATION AT OYSTER RIVER       
First Line: Over the low, barnacled, elephant-colored rocks
Last Line: In the first of the moon %all's a scattering, %a shining
Subject(s): Seashore


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: THE FAR FIELD       
First Line: I dream of journeys repeatedly
Last Line: Winding around the waters of the world


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: THE LONG WATERS       
First Line: Whether the bees have thoughts, we cannot say
Last Line: I am gathered together once more; %I embrace the world


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: THE LONGING       
First Line: On things asleep, no balm
Last Line: I'll be an indian. %ogalala? %iroquois


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: THE ROSE       
First Line: There are those to whom place is unimportant
Subject(s): Flowers; Nature; Roses


NORTH AMERICAN SEQUENCE: THE ROSE       
First Line: There are those to whom place is unimportant
Last Line: Gathering to itself sound and silence - %mine and the sea-wind's
Subject(s): Flowers; Nature; Roses


O LULL ME, LULL ME    Poem Text    
First Line: One sigh stretches heaven
Subject(s): Singing & Singers; Consolation; Songs


O LULL ME, LULL ME       
First Line: One sigh stretches heaven
Last Line: I see what sings %what sings


O, THOU OPENING, O    Poem Text    
First Line: I'll make it, but it may take me


O, THOU OPENING, O       
First Line: I'll make it; but it may take me
Last Line: I'm near %be true %skin


OLD FLORIST       
First Line: That hump of a man bunching chrysanthemums
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


OLD FLORIST       
First Line: That hump of a man bunching chrysanthemums
Last Line: Or stand all night watering roses, his feet blue in rubber boots
Subject(s): Labor And Laborers


OLD FLORIST       
First Line: That hump of a man bunching chrysanthemums
Last Line: Or stand all night watering roses, his feet blue in rubber %boots


OLD LADY'S WINTER WORDS       
First Line: To seize, to seize
Last Line: In the cold air %the spirit %hardens


ON THE QUAY       
First Line: What they say on the quay is
Last Line: There's two more to drown


ON THE ROAD TO WOODLAWN       
First Line: I miss the polished brass, the powerful black horses
Last Line: And the eyes, still vivid, looking up from a sunken room


ONCE MORE, THE ROUND       
First Line: What's greater, pebble or pond
Last Line: As we dance on, dance on, dance on


OPEN HOUSE       
First Line: My secrets cry aloud
Last Line: Nothing would give up life: %even the dirt kept breathing a small breath


OPEN HOUSE       
First Line: My secrets cry aloud
Last Line: Rage warps my clearest cry %to witless agony


ORCHIDS    Poem Text    
First Line: They lean over the path
Subject(s): Orchids


ORCHIDS       
First Line: They lean over the path
Last Line: Loose ghostly mouths %breathing
Subject(s): Orchids


ORDERS FOR THE DAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Hands, hard and veined all over
Subject(s): Body, Human


ORDERS FOR THE DAY       
First Line: Hands, hard and veined all over
Last Line: Breath, turn the old blood over


OTHER       
First Line: What is she, while I live
Last Line: Yet still laugh in my sleep


OTTO       
First Line: He was the youngest son of a strange brood
Last Line: O world so far away! O my lost world


PHILANDER       
First Line: A man named philander s. Goo
Last Line: Oh what! Oh what what can I do


PICKLE BELT    Poem Text    
First Line: The fruit rolled by all day.
Subject(s): Pickles


PICKLE BELT       
First Line: The fruit rolled by all day
Last Line: Of sixteen-year-old lust


PIKE       
First Line: The river turns
Last Line: The pike strikes
Subject(s): Sports


PIPLING    Poem Text    
First Line: Behold the critic, pitched like the castrati
Subject(s): Critics & Criticism; Hate


PIPLING       
First Line: Behold the critic, pitched like the castrati
Last Line: Some cannot praise him: I am one of those
Subject(s): Critics And Criticism; Hate


PLAINT       
First Line: Day after somber day
Last Line: And I delight in sleep


POETASTER       
First Line: Hero of phantasies and catcher of chills
Last Line: O fortunate he whose mamma pays the bills


PRAISE TO THE END       
First Line: It's dark in this wood, soft mocker


PRAYER       
First Line: If I must of my senses lose
Last Line: Let light attend me to the gravel


PRAYER BEFORE STUDY       
First Line: Constricted by my tortured thought
Last Line: Deliver me, o lord, from all %activity centripetal


PREMONITION       
First Line: Walking this field I remember
Last Line: Was lost in a maze of water


PREMONITION       
First Line: Walking this field I remember
Last Line: But when he stood up, that face %was lost in a maze of water
Subject(s): Nostalgia


PROGNOSIS    Poem Text    
First Line: Diffuse the outpourings of the spiritual coward
Subject(s): Life


PROGNOSIS       
First Line: Diffuse the outpourings of the spiritual coward
Last Line: The nightmare silence is broken. We are not lost


PURE FURY       
First Line: Stupor of knowledge lacking inwardness
Last Line: As the thick shade of the long night comes on


RECKONING       
First Line: All profits disappear: the gain
Last Line: The penny that usurps the poor


REMINDER       
First Line: I remember the crossing-tender's geranium border
Last Line: A cheap clock ticking in ghostly cicada voice


RENEWAL       
First Line: What glories would we? Motions of the soul?
Last Line: I find that love, and I am everywhere


REPLY       
First Line: Bird, bird, don't edge me in
Last Line: And, like you, bird, I sing, %a man, a man alive
Subject(s): Birds; Life


REPLY TO A LADY EDITOR       
First Line: Reply to a lady editor
Last Line: As I dance to my poem called poem


REPLY TO CENSURE       
First Line: Repulse the staring eye
Last Line: And quiet at the core


REPLY TO CESNURE    Poem Text    
First Line: Repulse the staring eye
Subject(s): Self-reliance


RESTORED       
First Line: In a hand like a bowl
Last Line: Of my last midnight


RETURN       
First Line: I circled on leather paws
Last Line: Bared for a hunter's boot


RIGHT THING       
First Line: Let others probe the mystery if they can
Last Line: The right thing happens to the happy man


RIVER INCIDENT       
First Line: A shell arched under my toes
Last Line: In the dark, in the rolling water


ROOT CELLAR    Poem Text    
First Line: Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch
Subject(s): Cellars; Basements


ROOT CELLAR       
First Line: Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch
Last Line: Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath
Subject(s): Cellars


ROSE: 1       
First Line: There are those to whom place is unimportant
Last Line: The first rain gathered?


ROSE: 2       
First Line: As when a ship sails with a light wind
Last Line: With that man, and those roses?


ROSE: 3       
First Line: What do they tell us, sound and silence?
Last Line: Like the eye of a new-caught fish


ROSE: 4       
First Line: I live with the rocks, their weeds
Last Line: Mine and the sea-wind's


ROUSE FOR STEVENS       
First Line: Wallace stevens, what's he done?
Last Line: Brother, he's our father!
Subject(s): Stevens, Wallace (1879-1955)


RUNNING LIGHTLY OVER SPONGY GROUND       
Last Line: Just under the water %it usually goes


SAGINAW SONG       
First Line: In saginaw, in saginaw
Last Line: All women, o, are beautiful %when they are half-undressed


SALE    Poem Text    
First Line: For sale: by order of the remaining heirs
Subject(s): Estate Sales


SALE       
First Line: For sale: by order of the remaining heirs
Last Line: And the taint in a blood that was running too thin


SECOND SHADOW    Poem Text    
First Line: Cast on the field from that full height
Subject(s): Time


SENSIBILITY! O LA!    Poem Text    
First Line: I'm the serpent of somebody else


SENSIBILITY! O LA!       
First Line: I'm the serpent of somebody else
Last Line: I'm somewhere else %I insist %I am


SENSUALISTS       
First Line: There is no place to turn, she said
Last Line: Into the world of men


SENTENTIOUS MAN       
First Line: Spirit and nature beat in one breast-bone
Last Line: And the weak bridegroom strengthens in his bride


SEQUEL       
First Line: Was I too glib about eternal things
Last Line: I feel the autumn fail - and all that slow fire %denied in me, who has denied desire


SERPENT       
First Line: There was a serpent who had to sing
Last Line: As the birds flew off to the end of next week
Subject(s): Animals; Snakes


SHAPE OF THE FIRE       
First Line: What's this? A dish for fat lips
Last Line: Still holding and feeding the stem of the contained flower


SHE    Poem Text    
First Line: I think the dead are tender. Shall we kiss?
Subject(s): Mourning; Bereavement


SHE       
First Line: I think the dead are tender. Shall we kiss?
Last Line: Stayed by what was, and pulled by what would be
Subject(s): Mourning


SHIMMER OF EVIL       
First Line: The weather wept, and all the trees bent down
Last Line: There was no light; there was no light at all


SHY MAN       
First Line: The full moon was shining upon the broad sea
Last Line: As we kiss by the high sea-wall
Subject(s): Hearts; Kisses; Love


SIGNALS       
First Line: Often I meet, on walking from a door
Last Line: The things the eye or hand cannot possess


SILENCE       
First Line: There is a noise within the brow


SISKINS       
First Line: The bank swallows veer and dip
Last Line: In my eyes follow after %their sunlit leaping


SLOTH       
First Line: In moving slow he has no peer
Last Line: And you just know he knows he knows
Subject(s): Sloths


SLOW SEASON    Poem Text    
First Line: Now light is less; noon skies are wide and deep;


SLOW SEASON       
First Line: Now light is less; noon skies are wide and deep
Last Line: Our vernal wisdom moves through ripe to sere


SLUG    Poem Text    
First Line: How I loved one like you when I was little!
Subject(s): Blake, William (1757-1827); Slugs


SLUG       
First Line: How I loved one like you when I was little!
Last Line: But as for you, most odious - %would blake call you holy?
Subject(s): Blake, William (1757-1827); Slugs


SMALL       
First Line: The small birds swirl around
Last Line: And things throw light on things, %and all the stones have wings


SNAKE       
First Line: I saw a young snake glide
Last Line: And I may be, some time
Subject(s): Animals; Snakes


SOMETHING TOLD THE WILD GEESE       
First Line: Something told the wild geese
Last Line: Winter in their cry


SONG       
First Line: This fair parcel of summer's
Last Line: And the great leaves cancel their stems %and sinuosity %saves


SONG       
First Line: From whence cometh song
Last Line: The wind shifting south


SONG       
First Line: My wrath, where's the edge
Last Line: Tell me now, tell me now


SONG       
First Line: Under a southern wind
Last Line: All things bring me to love


SONG       
First Line: I met a ragged man
Last Line: Mouth upon mouth, we sang, %my lips pressed upon stone


SONG FOR THE SQUEEZE BOX    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Gambling; Money; Loss; Unemployment; Wine; Wagering; Betting


SONG FOR THE SQUEEZE BOX       
First Line: It wasn't ernest; it wasn't scott
Last Line: To help me eat up her money


STORM       
First Line: Against the stone breakwater
Last Line: And the hurricane drives the dead straw into the living pine tree


SUMMER SCHOOL MARMS    Poem Text    
First Line: Their antics could invite the easy sneer
Subject(s): Gossip


SUPPER WITH LINDSAY    Poem Text    
First Line: I deal in wisdom, not in dry desire
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


SUPPER WITH LINDSAY       
First Line: I deal in wisdom, not in dry desire
Last Line: With that, he hitched his pants and humped away


SURLY ONE       
First Line: When true love broke my heart in half
Last Line: That start from my own feet


SWAN       
First Line: I study out a dark similitude
Last Line: Sing of that nothing of which all is made, %or listen into silence, like a god
Subject(s): Native Americans - Pre-columbian


THE ABYSS: 2    Poem Text    
First Line: I have been spoken to variously / but heard little


THE ADAMANT    Poem Text    
First Line: Thought does not crush to stone.
Subject(s): Truth


THE ALLIGATOR    Poem Text    
First Line: The alligator chased his tail
Subject(s): Alligators


THE APPARITION    Poem Text    
First Line: My pillow won't tell me
Subject(s): Love


THE AUCTION    Poem Text    
First Line: Once on returning home, purse-proud and hale
Subject(s): Home; Auctions; Property; Possessions


THE BAT    Poem Text    
First Line: By day the bat is cousin to the mouse
Subject(s): Animals; Supernatural


THE BRINGER OF TIDINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: An early bearer of the news
Subject(s): Messages & Messangers


THE CEILING    Poem Text    
First Line: Suppose the ceiling went outside
Subject(s): Houses


THE CHAIR    Poem Text    
First Line: A funny thing about a chair:
Subject(s): Chairs


THE COMING OF THE COLD    Poem Text    
First Line: The ribs of leaves lie in the dust


THE DECISION    Poem Text    
First Line: What shakes the eye but the invisible
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


THE DONKEY    Poem Text    
First Line: I had a donkey, that was all right
Subject(s): Donkeys; Burros


THE DREAM    Poem Text    
First Line: I met her as a blossom on a stem
Subject(s): Dreams; Love; Nightmares


THE FAR FIELD    Poem Text    
First Line: I dream of journeys repeatedly
Subject(s): Travel; Rivers; Death; Journeys; Trips; Dead, The


THE FOLLIES OF ADAM    Poem Text    
First Line: Read me euripides
Subject(s): Bible; Religion; Theology


THE GERANIUM    Poem Text    
First Line: When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail,
Subject(s): Geraniums


THE GOSSIPS    Poem Text    
First Line: The vulturine necks stretch out; the mean eyes bunch
Subject(s): Schools; Summer; Students


THE HERON    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The heron stands in water where the swamp
Subject(s): Birds; Herons


THE HIPPO    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Hippopotamuses


THE LIZARD    Poem Text    
First Line: The time to tickle a lizard
Subject(s): Lizards


THE LONG ALLEY    Poem Text    
First Line: A river glides out of the grass. A river or a serpent


THE LOST SON    Poem Text    
First Line: At woodlawn I heard the dead cry
Subject(s): Fathers & Sons


THE MINIMAL    Poem Text    
First Line: I study the lives on a leaf; the little
Subject(s): Insects; Bugs


THE MOMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: We passed the ice of pain
Subject(s): Happiness; Love - Erotic; Joy; Delight


THE PAUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: I have walked past my widest range
Subject(s): Explorers; Exploring; Discovery; Discoverers


THE PIKE    Poem Text    
First Line: The river turns
Subject(s): Sports


THE PREMONITION    Poem Text    
First Line: Walking this field I remember


THE RECKONING    Poem Text    
First Line: All profits disappear; the gain
Subject(s): Money; Problems


THE REMINDER    Poem Text    
First Line: I remember the crossing-tender's geranium border
Subject(s): Memory


THE REPLY    Poem Text    
First Line: Bird, bird, don't edge me in
Subject(s): Birds; Life


THE RETURN    Poem Text    
First Line: I circled on leather paws
Subject(s): Home


THE SERPENT    Poem Text    
First Line: There was a serpent who had to sing
Subject(s): Animals; Snakes; Serpents; Vipers


THE SHY MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: The full moon was shining upon the broad sea
Subject(s): Hearts; Kisses; Love


THE SIGNALS    Poem Text    
First Line: Often I meet, on walking from a door


THE SLOTH    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: In moving slow he has no peer
Subject(s): Sloths


THE SMALL    Poem Text    
First Line: The small birds swirl around;
Subject(s): Birds; Size & Shape; Height


THE SNAKE    Poem Text    
First Line: I saw a young snake glide
Subject(s): Animals; Snakes; Serpents; Vipers


THE STORM    Poem Text    
First Line: Against the stone breakwater,
Subject(s): Hurricanes


THE SUMMONS    Poem Text    
First Line: Now all who love the best
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Conduct Of Life; Human Nature


THE SWAN    Poem Text    
First Line: I study out a dark similitude
Subject(s): Native Americans - Pre-columbian


THE THING    Poem Text    
First Line: Suddenly they came flying, like a long scarf of smoke
Subject(s): Birds


THE UNEXTINGUISHED    Poem Text    
First Line: Clouds glow like coals just fresh from fire, a flare
Subject(s): Fire; Light


THE VISITANT    Poem Text    
First Line: A cloud moved close. The bulk of the wind shifted
Subject(s): Love - Loss Of


THE WAKING    Poem Text    
First Line: I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow
Subject(s): Men; Night; Religion; Sleep; Waking; Bedtime; Theology


THE WAKING (2)    Poem Text    
First Line: I strolled across / an open field
Subject(s): Fate; Waking; Destiny


THEY SING (A DYING MAN SPEAKS)       
First Line: All women loved dance in a dying light
Last Line: Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings %against the wide abyss, the gray waste nothingness of t


THING       
First Line: Suddenly they came flying, like a long scarf of smoke
Last Line: And the blue air darkened
Subject(s): Birds


TO AN ANTHROPOLOGIST    Poem Text    
First Line: Yes, even the devil should have his due
Subject(s): Books; Reading


TO MY SISTER       
First Line: O my sister rememer the stars the tears the trains
Last Line: Remain secure from pain preserve thy hate thy heart


TRANCED       
First Line: We counted several flames in one small fire
Last Line: And what died with us was the will to die


TRANSPLANTING    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Watching hands transplanting
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens & Gardening


TRANSPLANTING       
First Line: Watching hands transplanting
Last Line: The whole flower extending outward, %stretching and reaching
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens And Gardening


TREE, THE BIRD       
First Line: Uprose, uprose, the stony fields uprose
Last Line: The dire dimension of a final thing


UNEXTINGUISHED       
First Line: Clouds glow like coals just fresh from fire, a flare
Last Line: Until thought crackles white across the brain


UNFOLD! LUNFOLD!       
First Line: By snails, by leaps of frog, I came here, spirit
Last Line: In their harsh thickets %the dead thrash %they help


VERNAL SENTIMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: Though the crocuses poke up their heads in the usual places
Subject(s): Spring


VERNAL SENTIMENT       
First Line: Though the crocuses poke up their heads in the usual places
Last Line: I rejoice in the spring, as though no spring had been
Subject(s): Spring


VERSE WITH ALLUSIONS       
First Line: Thrice happy they whose world is spanned
Last Line: Much logic in their gluttony


VISITANT       
First Line: A cloud moved close. The bulk of the wind shifted
Last Line: The tree, the close willow, swayed
Subject(s): Love - Loss Of


VOICE       
First Line: One feather is a bird
Last Line: Like any summer day


WAGTAIL       
First Line: Who knows how the wagtail woos
Last Line: He comes calling without wiping his shoes


WAKING       
First Line: I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow
Last Line: I learn by going where I have to go
Subject(s): Men; Night; Religion; Sleep; Waking


WAKING (2)       
First Line: I strolled across %an open field
Last Line: Sang in my veins %that summer day
Subject(s): Fate; Waking


WALK IN LATE SUMMER       
First Line: A gull rides on the ripples of a dream


WALK IN LATE SUMMER: 1       
First Line: A gull rides on the ripples of a dream
Last Line: On the long banks, in the soft summer air


WALK IN LATE SUMMER: 2       
First Line: What is there for the soul to understand?
Last Line: My moments linger-that's eternity


WALK IN LATE SUMMER: 3       
First Line: A late rose ravages the casual eye
Last Line: Reminds me I am dying with the year


WALK IN LATE SUMMER: 4       
First Line: A tree arises on a central plain
Last Line: The evening wraps me, steady as a flame


WEED PULLER    Poem Text    
First Line: Under the concrete benches
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens & Gardening


WEED PULLER       
First Line: Under the concrete benches
Last Line: Crawling on all fours, %alive, in a slippery grave
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens And Gardening


WHALE       
First Line: There was a most monstrous whale
Last Line: The best he could do was jiggle his blubber


WHERE KNOCK IS OPEN WIDE       
First Line: A kitten can
Last Line: Maybe god has a house %but not here


WHERE KNOCK IS OPEN WIDE       
First Line: A kitten can %bite with his feet
Last Line: Maybe god has a house. %but not here


WISH FOR A YOUNG WIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: My lizard, my lively writher
Subject(s): Life Change Events; Love


WISH FOR A YOUNG WIFE       
First Line: My lizard, my lively writher
Last Line: When I am no one
Subject(s): Life Change Events; Love


WORDS FOR THE WIND       
First Line: Love, love, a lily's my care, %she's sweeter than a tree
Last Line: And see and suffer myself %in another being, at last


WORDS IN THE VIOLENT WARD    Poem Text    
First Line: In heaven, too
Subject(s): Insanity; Poetry & Poets; Madness; Mental Illness


YAK       
First Line: There was amost odious yak
Last Line: And go humping off, yicketty-yak


YOUNG GIRL       
First Line: What can the spirit believe
Last Line: My bird-blood ready