Text-only navigation [ Catalog ][ About the Series ][ Subscribe ]
My Account View Cart
American Poets Project
Theodore Roethke Edward Hirsch
 

Theodore Roethke: Selected Poems

edited by edward hirsch

 
Overview
About the Editor
Table of Contents

Above: Theodore Roethke, Edward Hirsch (photograph copyright Evin Thayer).

 

From the recollections of his youth in Michigan to the visionary longings of the poems written just before his death, Theodore Roethke embarked on a quest to restore wholeness to a self that seemed irreparably broken. In the words of editor Edward Hirsch, "he courted the irrational and embraced what is most vulnerable in life." Hirsch's selection and perceptive introduction illuminate the daring and intensity of a poet who, in poems such as "My Papa's Waltz" and "The Lost Son," reached back into the abyss of childhood in an attempt to wrest self-knowledge out of memory. Roethke's true subject was the unfathomable depths of his own being, but his existential investigations were always shaped and disciplined by an exacting formal stringency, as equally at ease with Yeats' vigorous cadence ("Four for Sir John Davies") as with the spacious Whitmanian idiom on display in the virtuoso efforts of The Far Field. This gathering of Roethke's works also includes several of his poems for children, and a generous sampling from his notebook writings, offering a glimpse of the poet at work with the raw materials of language and ideas.

 
Theodore Roethke: Selected Poems book jacket
Presented by The Library of America
Home Contact Us Copyright 2003 Literary Classics of the U.S., Inc.