Theodore Roethke

Long Live the Weeds

Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm! - 
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked, and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit,
Hope, love, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.

*inspired by Gerald Manley Hopkins' poem Inversnaid
spoken = David Juda