Theodore Roethke





Song

1)
This fair parcel of summer's
Asleep in her skin,
A lark-sweet lover if ever there was.
The fountain
Hangs by its hair;
The water is busy
In the place of beautiful stones.
To the north of a mouth I lie,
Hearing a crass babble of birds.

To find that, like a fish,
What the fat leaves have,-
How else, meadow-shape?

2)
That day we took from the angels:
Light stayed all night,
Rocking the blossoms;
The sea barked in its caves.
I sang to the straw,
The likeliest gander alive.

How fast the winsome escapes!
I saw in my last sleep
The stunned country of ourselves.
In the soft slack of a neck I slept.
Her arms made a summer.

Where's the bridge of dancing children?
The edge is what we have.
In the grey otherwise,
The instant gathers.
I'm still,
Still as the wind's center,
Still as a clay sunk
Stone.
Do the dead wake in their own way?
I warm myself with cold.
Redeem this teacher,
Love.

3)
Love makes me naked;
Propinquity's a harsh master;
O the songs we hide singing to ourselves!-
Are these matters only a saint mentions?
Am I reduced to the indignity of examples?
I'm still smudgy from sleep:
Flash me to mercy and a whole heart!
Here's the last kiss of my luck:
Dearie, delight me now.
The bird in the small bush
Bewilders himself:

All things are vulnerable, still;
The soul has its own shine and shape;
And the vine climbs;
And the great leaves cancel their stems;
And sinuosity
Saves.


spoken = David Juda