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Location: California, United States

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The day's on fire!

In the beginning of Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut mentions a poet - Theodore Roethke. Here's one of his poems ...

In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady stream of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.


Blogger Liam said...

That's a great poem. Roethke rocks.

Filius imperatricis Africae occidentalis has to write a poem for school. He says he hates writing poems because he can't think of what to say "and besides, it's girly."


I tell him I write poems.

1:50 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


2:34 PM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...

I missed this earlier. One of my all-time favorite poems!!!

Roethke does rock.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance?

Damn straight.

A man goes far to find out what he is.

And sometimes you go far and find . . . . nothing!

7:33 PM  

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