Friday, April 25, 2008


The land that I come from they call the Midwest. And I guess it's true that you can take the girl out of the heartland, but can't take the heartland out of the girl.

Theodore Roethke was also a Midwesterner--from Michigan, not far from my homeland of Ohio. His large and expansive heart eventually gave out, but he left us some beautiful poems.

Open House

My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
An epic of the eyes
My love, with no disguise.

My truths are all foreknown,
This anguish self-revealed.
I'm naked to the bone,
With nakedness my shield.
Myself is what I wear:
I keep the spirit spare.

The anger will endure,
The deed will speak the truth
In language strict and pure.
I stop the lying mouth:
Rage warps my clearest cry
To witless agony.

Oh my. The first two stanzas really resonate with me, but that last one is a bit too much, don't you think? Breathe, Ted!

1 comment:

Sandra said...

What a fantastic photo. Roethke is one of those poets people tend to love on early exposure and then "outgrow" before ever really delving into his rich catalogue of work. "Dolor" is still one of my favorites.