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Aaron Poochigian 11-20-2017 08:32 AM

"Long Live The Weeds"
I love this all but forgotten early Roethke manifesto: “These shape the creature that is I.” Words to live by:

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, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.

Ann Drysdale 11-20-2017 09:12 AM

Is this the "Hopkins" to which he refers? I must confess that this was the poem I expected to see when I clicked your post...

This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Aaron Poochigian 11-20-2017 09:33 AM

Indeed it is, Mademoiselle Drysdale. Where have you been lately? Thanks for posting the Hopkins.

Oh goodness, Hopkins and his "groins": a gay priest whose middle name was "Manly," he couldn't have written any other way.

John Isbell 11-20-2017 04:58 PM

I'm currently waiting for Roethke's Collected by mail. It's nice to have a preview.
Also, the Hopkins is quite beautiful.


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