A Poem by Roethke

So, in the pecking order of writers poets tend to be low man on the totem poll. They are the Rudolf of the reindeer. It’s not that they aren’t liked, they’re just different.  And like Rudolf, with their nose so bright, they can shine more than the rest of us. So, in honor of Rudolf and the holiday season, I present to you a poem that was shown to me by a dear friend, who also happens to be a poet.

 

The Waking

BY THEODORE ROETHKE

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 me, 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.
This 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.